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Nov 8, 2018 3:30 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Man Sentenced To Six Months For Rape Outside Springs School

Bryan Siranaula, center, being walked into East Hampton Town Justice Court back in February.  PRESS FILE
Nov 12, 2018 3:20 PM

A former East Hampton Village traffic control officer was sentenced last week to six months in prison and 10 years of probation after admitting to raping a female acquaintance in a parked car outside the Springs School on February 4, 2018.

Bryan Siranaula, of Springs, stood silently with his hands behind his back while his attorney, Daniel Rodgers, spoke on Thursday morning, November 8, in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverhead. Mr. Siranaula’s family and friends took up a large section of seating at the sentencing.

Earlier, in September, Mr. Siranaula pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and aggravated sexual abuse, both felonies, in addition to misdemeanor charges of criminal obstruction of breathing, acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17, third-degree assault and criminal impersonation in the second degree.

Judge Barbara Kahn of Suffolk County Criminal Court said she took into consideration the defendant’s age—he was 18 at the time of the incident—lack of criminal history, and his cooperation with law enforcement in deciding on his sentence. Mr. Siranaula was granted youthful offender status, which can be given to teenage offenders from 16 to 18 years old and can affect sentencing, as well as whether the conviction will be part of the defendant’s permanent criminal record.

Judge Kahn said brain development in adolescence is not complete, which can add to “short-shortsightedness” and “impulsivity.” “Rehabilitation of a youthful person rather than punishment is the goal,” she said. “Applying those principles yields better outcomes.”

If convicted on a charge of rape in the first degree, an adult defendant could serve a maximum of 25 years in prison.

After serving his six-month prison sentence, Mr. Siranaula will undergo 10 years of probation supervision, with drug and alcohol testing, computer monitoring, and psychiatric testing. Judge Kahn said he will not be a registered sex offender, but he will serve sex offender probation, which she said is much stricter than regular probation. Mr. Siranaula will not be eligible for early discharge from prison or probation, the judge noted.

The victim’s representative in the courtroom relayed her desire for a much tougher sentence: “She wishes for the defendant to be a registered sex offender, and serve 10 years incarceration for rape in the first degree.”

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Rodgers said, “No one is shying away from the fact that this is very serious. Mr. Siranaula took full responsibility for his actions.”

Mr. Rodgers said Mr. Siranaula showed “genuine remorse” for the “pain and suffering” he caused the victim, who was 19 at the time of the rape, which Mr. Rodgers called a “tragic incident.”

“We’re not trying to minimize the severity of what he did,” Mr. Rodgers continued. “I think this was the right decision.”

A permanent order of protection has been issued against Mr. Siranaula on behalf of both the victim and her 7-year-old brother, who witnessed the rape.

In February, Mr. Siranaula was accused of forcibly pulling the young woman from her car, and into his car, in the Springs School parking lot, where he raped her in front of the 7-year-old. Prosecutors said the child was watching and sobbing.

Prior to the incident, Mr. Siranaula, while pretending to be someone else in a text message, persuaded the victim to wait for him at the school.

The 19-year-old victim said in a statement to police that she and Mr. Siranaula had dated on and off, from the summer of 2016 until January 2018, but had broken off and had not been in contact.

Mr. Siranaula was indicted shortly after his arrest. He was released with conditions of home confinement on $50,000 cash bail since February 16, 2018.

Last week, he thanked the court and Judge Kahn, and apologized for his actions before being taken away in handcuffs by an officer.

“Today, he’ll pay the price for his poor choices,” Mr. Rodgers said.

Mr. Siranaula’s first court appearance out of jail will be on May 21, 2019, Judge Kahn said.

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