Request to drop gun charge against Astacio denied; case heads to grand jury

June 06, 2018 05:26 PM

Suspended Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio who allegedly tried to purchase a shotgun in violation of her probation appeared in Henrietta Town Court Wednesday.

The judge decided the case will now go to a grand jury.

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Astacio is charged with attempted criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon, a class E felony. According to court paperwork, Astacio went to two Dick's Sporting Goods stores back in April and tried to buy a gun. She has been on probation in connection to a DWI conviction from August of 2016. 

Wednesday, Astacio's defense attorney argued an unloaded shotgun does not meet the definition of a firearm or dangerous weapon as part of her probation conditions and asked for the charge to be dismissed.

"Even if she had the intent to complete the purchase then it wouldn't matter because ultimately if she took possession of that shotgun and it remained unloaded she wouldn't be in violation of her conditions of probation as they currently exist," stated Defense Attorney Mark Foti.

The judge denied that motion.  

Seneca County DA Barry Porsch added, "I think council is trying to make the best argument he could make in there for his client.  Our position, the judge agreed with us, is that a shotgun at this stage, and the felony complaint alleges that is was a dangerous weapon, the judge agreed with my position." 

The Commission on Judicial Conduct decided to remove Astacio from the bench back in April and she appealed the decision. The New York State Court of Appeals in Albany will hear the case on Sept. 5.


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