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Massena man jailed on $50,000 bail on first-degree burglary charge


MASSENA - Village police charged Justin M. Mendies, 22, of 104 Stoughton Ave., Massena, with first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal possession, second-degree menacing and second-degree harassment late Monday night after he allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and threatened a male in the apartment with a collapsible baton.

Police said the charges stemmed from an incident at 8:53 p.m. Monday at Katie Snyder’s residence at153 East Orvis St., Apt. 3.

He was arraigned by Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

He reportedly pushed his way into the apartment and grabbed Ms. Snyder by the wrists so she could not get him back outside. He also allegedly threatened James Plourde with the baton before grabbing a bag and leaving the apartment.

Plourde and Snyder were in a back room at the apartment when they heard a knock on the door. Mr. Plourde said Ms. Snyder went to the door. “Soon after I hear a lot of noise, and I hear Katie saying, ‘Justin, you can’t come in,’: “ Mr. Plourde said in the statement he signed for police.

He said he then went into the front room and saw Ms. Snyder grabbing both sides of the door casing in an effort to keep Mendies out of the apartment. “Justin continued to grab around Katie and was forceful in trying to get in to the apartment. Katie continued to tell Justin to leave and that he didn’t have to be there,” Mr. Plourde told police.

He said as he approached Ms. Snyder he noticed Mendies had made his way inside the apartment. “Justin then took a metal items out of his pocket and snapped it open. At this time Justin pointed the item at me and said, ‘Come on,’” he said.

Mr. Plourde said Mendies then walked into the kitchen, grabbed a bag from a kitchen cupboard and walked out of the apartment.

Ms. Snyder said she had only opened the door about 3 inches when Mendies pushed the door open. “He grabbed my hands so I couldn’t shut the door. Justin then pushed me back into the apartment,” she noted.

She told police her ex-boyfriend made threats as he was leaving the apartment. She said he told her he was going to get her one-year-old son taken away from her and that she wouldn’t be pregnant much longer.

Mr. Plourde said Mendies had warned him he would be looking for him and pledged to return to the apartment.

Mendies had been charged with third-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child in June 2009. The felony rape count was later reduced to a misdemeanor charge of sexual misconduct following a motion made by the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office, and Mende was adjudicated as a youthful offender.

The charges stemmed from an alleged incident on June 9, 2009 when Mendies allegedly had forcible sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old female and also took nude photographs of the teenager with a digital camera and a cell phone.

Massena Village Police Investigator Jason M. Olson said the teenager told him she was walking on Walnut Street early that evening when Mendies, whom she knew, approached her and told her to get into his truck and he would then bring her to his house.

“Justin then blindfolded (the teenager) and told her that he did not want her to know where he lived. Justin brought (the teenager) inside and up to his room and then took off the blindfold,” Olson said in his statement.

Mendies then reportedly asked the female if she wanted to watch a movie or play video games. The teenager reported responded she wanted to watch a movie and sat on his bed.

Olson indicated Mendies then allegedly attempted to kiss the teenager and disrobe her. Olson noted the teenager reportedly told Mendies to stop several times and attempted to use physical force to stop the Massena man’s advances.

“Justin completely disrobed (the 15 year old). Justin then began taking nude photographs (of her) with a cell phone and digital camera,” Olson said in his statement, noting Mendies then allegedly had sexual intercourse with the teenager against her will.

Later that month, village police charged Mendies with first-degree rape, first-degree burglary, unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child as a result of an on-going investigation into the initial incident. Prosecutors later moved to have the felony counts of rape and burglary reduced to misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and criminal trespass, and Mendies was adjudicated as a youthful offender.

Those counts alleged Mendies repeatedly entered a 14-year-old Massena teen’s bedroom through her bedroom window and engaged in forcible sexual intercourse between five and 10 times in March 2009. He also allegedly chained her to a pole at an apartment in Massena and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her on another occasion that same month.

The 14 year old, in the statement she provided police, said she started hanging out with Mendies in March 2009.

“At first, we were just talking, and he was giving me some advice and guidance on things that were going on in my life. During that time, one day Justin laid down next to me and tried to have sex with me, and I told him no. Justin then told me he was proud of me for saying no,” the teenager said in the statement she signed for police.

But she said a few days later Mendies returned to her home in the afternoon when her parents weren’t home and forced himself on her.

“I tried to push him off and told him no several times,” she told police.

The 14 year old said following that incident Mendies had only returned to her home at night and each time he had broken into her bedroom through the window and raped her.

“Each time he would hold me down and have sex with me. I tried to stop him ...,” she said, noting she takes medication that makes her drowsy at night.

The teenager told police she had been raped more than five times but less than 10 times by Mendies over a two-week period. “I was scared to tell anyone,” she said.

The young woman also told police Mendies had chained her to a pole and tried to have sex with her, but she had been successful in fighting him off on that occasion. She said he then let her go.

“I was afraid to tell anyone what happened,” she reiterated in her statement to police.

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