Murray man claims innocence and will go to trial for sex abuse

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2017 at 8:27 am

ALBION – A Murray man declined a plea offer on Monday that would have reduced the charges of first-degree sex abuse to attempted sex abuse.

Joseph Quarella, 41, of Skyline Circle is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl between July and December 2016.

A plea offer from District Attorney Joe Cardone would have reduced the maximum charge from a violent felony to a non-violent crime.

Quarella was asked by Sara Sheldon, the acting Orleans County Court judge, if he would accept the offer.

“No,” he said. “I’m not because I didn’t do anything.”

Judge Sheldon then set Nov. 13 for a trial against Quarella. He was arraigned on May 22 for two counts of rape in the first degree, two counts of rape in the third degree, two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, and six counts of sexual abuse in the third degree.

He has been in jail since then on bail of $250,000.

In other cases in County Court:

• A Rochester man was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation for grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Devon Robinson, 23, admitted in a past court appearance that he part of a break-in with a truck where $8,000 in cash was stolen. Robinson said he smashed the window of a truck in Clarendon on Oct. 19, 2016.

There are two other codefendants in the crime. The judge ordered Robinson to pay a third of the $8,000 restitution or $2,666.

• Matthew Engert, 26, of Holley pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, an A misdemeanor, for punching another inmate in the head at the Orleans County Jail on Feb. 14.

Engert faces up to a year in the county jail when he is sentenced on Dec. 18.

• Jason M. Hirtreiter, 29, of Medina pleaded guilty to obstruction of governmental administration in the second degree, which has a maximum sentence of a year in jail.

Hirtreiter admitted in court that on May 13 he pulled a witness away from two Medina police officers who were trying to interview the person. He will be sentenced on Dec. 18.

• A Rochester man had to be led out of court by several Orleans County Sheriff’s deputies after he screamed expletives and pounded his fists on a table.

Victor T. Simmons, 46, is facing 13 counts of drug charges for allegedly selling heroin and cocaine in Albion.

Simmons was upset Monday because he said one of his motions or court filings wasn’t submitted by his attorney, Mark Lewis.

“I have a f—— Constitutional right to be heard,” Simmons yelled.

Judge Sheldon told him all of his arguments can be heard at trial.

Simmons said he was “being bullied” with the threat of a trial. He became angry and was led out of the courtroom by deputies. Simmons yelled more expletives on the way out.

Lewis, the attorney, asked the judge to release him from representing Simmons. Lewis is the second attorney to work with Simmons on the case after Simmons claimed the the first one wasn’t doing a good enough job.

“I’m at wit’s end with this guy,” Lewis told the judge. “I don’t want to be subjected to this anymore.”

Judge Sheldon asked Lewis to give it one more try. If a new attorney was appointed to the case, that lawyer would likely have the same challenges, she said.

She said she would read over the grand jury transcripts in the case and have Simmons back in court on Oct. 23.

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