By RYNE R. MARTIN
CANTON- An Ogdensburg man accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl in July was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility without bail after pleading guilty to a reduced count in St. Lawrence County Court.
Joshua A. Petell, 25, of 4 Mill St., Apt. A, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted sexual abuse in a plea bargain agreement that calls for him to be sentenced to no worse than a split sentence of six months in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility and probation. He was represented by attorney Mary E. Rain.
He had been indicted for felony first-degree sexual abuse. Petell was accused of inappropriately touching a 7-year-old girl July 22 in the city of Ogdensburg.
I was drawing tattoos on her leg, and my left hand touched her vaginal area, Petell said during the arraignment, admitting the sexual contract was made for his own sexual gratification.
St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Dec. 10.
Ms. Rain asked the court to release Petell from custody and place him under probation supervision. She said he had been incarcerated for a little over 70 days and if he remained at the jail until sentencing he would be past the maximum promised sentenced with his good time benefits. A defendant serving a 180-day jail sentence is eligible for release with good time credit after serving 120 days.
St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Jonathan L. Becker urged the court to send Petell back to the county jail with bail continued at $10,000, suggesting there had been no substantial changes to merit his release from jail.
Ms. Rain said her client is receiving counseling assistance and argued Mr. Beckers argument lacked merit. The substantial change in his circumstances is he has pleaded guilty. He has lived here all of his life, she noted.
After a brief conference at the bench with a probation department representative, Judge Richards sent Petell back to the county jail with no bail set pending sentencing.
In other recent county court action before Judge Richards:
Nadine M. Montroy, 43, of 331 Judson St., Ogdensburg, pleaded guilty a single count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied three other forged instrument counts pending in Ogdensburg City Court as well as uncharged cases involving 13 other forged checks.
Montroy admitted she had forged and cashed a check belonging to her cousin, Nancy David, on March 1 in the city of Ogdensburg. Prosecutors said restitution on all the charges covered by the plea is expected to be in the $1,900 range.
The Ogdensburg woman was sent back to the county jail, but Judge Richards said he would release her when a bed becomes available in an in-patient treatment center.
He noted he was aware of a letter Montroy wrote on Sept. 11 suggesting she didnt feel she needed all the treatment being recommended for her by the probation department. Judge Richards told Montroy that wasnt her decision to make if she wanted to avoid substantial incarceration.
You must complete the recommended treatment. You get kicked out of treatment for any reason, and I can sentence you to up to seven years in prison, Judge Richards said.
He directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and tentatively scheduled sentencing for Dec. 10.
Probation officials said they expected a treatment bed for Montroy to be available by the end of the week.
Judge Richards agreed to release Montroy from custody at 9 a.m. on the day before she enters treatment so she could get her personal affairs in order.
St. Lawrence County Conflict Public Defender Amy L. Dona said her client had asked to be released from custody prior to entering the treatment program.
I just need a couple of days to get my stuff together, Montroy said.
Judge Richards warned Montroy if she tests positive for drug use when she arrives at the treatment center she wont be admitted into the program and should be prepared to suffer the consequences when she returns to court.
Matthew Adams, 28, of 62 Benson Mines Road, Star Lake, pleaded not guilty tor two counts of felony second-degree burglary, second-degree robbery and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. He is represented by St. Lawrence County Public Defender Stephen D. Button.
Adams allegedly entered the town of Fine residence of Dean Williams with the intent to commit a crime Sept. 1. He left, then entered the residence of Ina and Michael Ober, also in the town of Fine, where he allegedly stole property and injured Ms. Ober.
The alleged burglary and robbery occurred in front of Ms. Obers 14-year-old granddaughter, leading to the endangering the welfare of a child charge.
Amber Lottie, 23, of 3095 County Route 17, DeKalb Junction, pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and one count of felony fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. Her release under the supervision of the probation department was continued. She is represented by Public Defender Button.
Lottie is accused of selling oxycodone twice on Nov. 22 in the town of Hermon. She also allegedly sold methadone on March 2, also in the town of Hermon.