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Aug 5, 2016 12:21 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Attorney Says Mistake Was Made In Filing Of Rape Charge, Regarding Age Of Alleged Victim

Aug 6, 2016 12:50 AM

UPDATE: Friday, August 5, 5:13 p.m.

Mr. Mezynieski’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., said the first-degree rape charge filed against his client was filed by police under the wrong subsection of the statute in New York Penal Law.

Mr. Burke said Friday that the first-degree rape charge, along with the felony charge of a criminal sex act in the first degree, are both based on the allegation of “forcible compulsion,” not on another subsection of the law, which can level the same charge based on the ages of alleged victim and defendant at the time of the incident.

He stressed that the rape charge, while still being a felony, is not based on the accuser being underage, adding that the alleged victim “was not, at the time of the alleged incident, anywhere near age 13 or younger.” He declined, however, to specify an age of the alleged victim.

The correct subsection was cited at arraignment, Mr. Burke said.



ORIGINAL STORY:

Southampton-based excavation company owner Steven Mezynieski was arrested Thursday and accused of raping a minor girl repeatedly over the course of three years, according to State Police.

Mr. Mezynieski was charged with rape in the first degree and criminal sex act in the first degree, both class B felonies.

Police said he had “sexual relations with a female victim over the course of about three years,” which began when the victim was under the age of consent. In New York, someone is guilty of first degree rape when they are older than 18 and the victim is younger than 13 years old. [SEE UPDATE]

The 44-year-old Orient resident was taken into custody at his place of business on Magee Street in Southampton Village, and arraigned in Southold Justice Court on Thursday. He was held in lieu of $25,000 bail, State Police said.

Members of the State Police Troop L Major Crimes Unit conducted the investigation, and have asked that any other possible victims contact them at (631) 756-3300.

Last month, The Press reported that Mr. Mezynieski’s company, Steve Mezynieski Inc., took over a sand mine on the outskirts of East Hampton Village, which was long-owned by the Talmage family.

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