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Aug 9, 2016 2:51 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Businessman Accused Of Raping A Minor

Aug 9, 2016 4:31 PM

The owner of a Southampton-based excavation company was arrested Thursday, August 4, and accused of tying up a teenager and sexually assaulting her twice in a two-year period at his farm in Orient Point.

According to court documents, State Police investigators say Steven Mezynieski, 44, used rope to restrain the female victim, then 16, and performed oral sex on the victim without her consent at his farm during the summer of 2012. In the summer of 2014, he pushed the victim, then 18, onto a bed and forced her to have intercourse while she tried to fend him off, the documents say.

State Police charged Mr. Mezynieski with first-degree rape and committing a criminal sex act in the first degree, both Class B felonies. If found guilty on a Class B felony, a defendant in New York State can face up to 25 years in prison.

A press release from the State Police said the defendant had “sexual relations with a female victim over the course of about three years,” beginning when the victim was under the age of consent, which is 17 in New York State.

In New York, a person is guilty of first-degree rape when they engage in sex with another person by threatening them or physically forcing them to comply, known in the code as “forcible compulsion.”

Mr. Mezynieski’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., said on Friday that he had entered not guilty pleas on behalf of his client, and he maintained his innocence.

“My client adamantly denies the charges leveled against him,” Mr. Burke reiterated on Tuesday. “These allegations will be fought vigorously in a court of law, not only to repudiate but to exonerate.”

Mr. Mezynieski was taken into custody at Steve Mezynieski Inc., his place of business on Magee Street in Southampton Village, and arraigned in Southold Town Justice Court on Thursday, August 4. Bail was set at $25,000, which he was able to post that day.

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

After Hurricane Sandy ravished the beaches and demolished the dunes of the East End, Mr. Mezynieski’s excavation company helped rebuild many of the dunes protecting multimillion-dollar homes along the oceanfront.

Last month, The Press reported that the company had also taken over a sand mine on the outskirts of East Hampton Village, which was long owned by the Talmage family.

Mr. Mezynieski is due back in Southold Town Court on August 26.

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