Man sentenced to a year in county jail for sexually abusing child
PENN YAN — A former Dundee man’s plea to avoid jail time was rejected Tuesday by Yates County Judge W. Patrick Falvey.
Falvey sentenced Robert Wood to a year in the county jail following his conviction in May on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stemmed from allegations that Wood sexually abused a pre-teen girl in Dundee for about two years.
In the jury trial, Wood was acquitted on two felony counts of sexual conduct against a child and one count of sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.
County Assistant District Attorney Megan Peter, who prosecuted the case, asked Falvey to give Wood the maximum sentence, which would have been two years in jail — one year for each of the endangering charges.
Wood, 64, was accused of engaging in sexual conduct with the girl starting in the fall of 2009, when she was 11. The alleged abuse lasted about two years.
Wood, who testified at his Trial… is being represented … by Rochester-area attorney John LaDuca. LaDuca called Wood a “family man” with no criminal history prior to his arrest. LaDuca suggested to Falvey that in misdemeanor cases where the defendant has a clean record, the sentence usually doesn’t include jail time.
LaDuca told Falvey. “I ask you to put aside emotions, and in this case deal with the facts and the evidence. He was acquitted of the felony charges in this case. There is absolutely nothing to indicate the crimes were of a sexual nature.”
A native of Hammondsport, Wood moved to Dundee in 1980 and is a well-known area carpenter and contractor, as well as a sports booster for Dundee-area teams. He moved back to Hammondsport shortly after his arrest. I
n a brief statement, Wood asked Falvey to consider a sentence other than jail time so he could keep working and providing for his family.
The girl’s mother began crying when Falvey sentenced Wood to jail time. Several supporters of Wood also left the courtroom in tears.
Falvey also signed a court order of protection, barring Wood from having any contact with the girl and her mother for eight years. By MIKE HIBBARD Finger Lakes Times Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012