Judge Astacio describes harassment at bowling alley, lawyer wants probation dropped

October 10, 2017 07:41 PM

News10NBC can now tell you what Rochester Judge Leticia Astacio says happened to her inside a trendy Rochester bar Saturday night.

At the same time, her new lawyer says he wants the probation violation charges against the judge dropped and her case reduced to time-served.

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Here are the key points: 

  • Judge Astacio is accused of leaving Monroe County to go to the del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County in September without permission. 
  • In the statement, her lawyer, Gregory Salmon, says Judge Astacio believed she was allowed to leave Monroe County as long as she left a voicemail with her probation officer. 
  • Salmon says Astacio went to the casino to escape harassment by people in the community. 

That's what happened Saturday night when Judge Astacio says she was accosted inside a bar. 

The judge had a bowling lane reserved at the bar called Radio Social. In a statement to Rochester Police, Judge Astacio said when she walked inside, a women in blonde hair recognized her. 

Judge Astacio told police the woman "grabbed my arm and then asked if I was Judge Astacio." Astacio says the woman "two hand pushed me in my chest" and asked the judge if she "wanted to take things outside."

Judge Astacio's statements are part of the court documents News10NBC obtained filed for the case against Monica Skinner. Skinner is accused of being the woman who accosted Astacio. 

Pictures taken by News10NBC's Nikki Rudd at Radio Social Saturday night show Judge Astacio and Skinner are in the foyer of the bar, separated by police. 

Brean: Zach, what do you think about the fact that Judge Astacio was allegedly accosted by a woman on Saturday night? 
Zachary Maurer, prosecutor: I've seen the news reports.

Zach Maurer is the prosecutor in Judge Astacio's case. We spoke to him after he met with Astacio's new legal team. 

Maurer: And that is the sort of behavior that you would hate to see. Obviously anybody approaching her, harassing her is inexcusable.

Judge Astacio is an elected Rochester City Court Judge. In August 2016, she was convicted of DWI. Since then she was found guilty of violating the terms of her sentence twice, got a 60-day jail sentence and now she has several probation violations pending.

She is banned from hearing any case in City Court, but she is still collecting her $174,000 taxpayer-funded salary.

Maurer: It's an unfortunate result that some people believe that they are entitled to speak to her however they feel just because their familiar with her case.

What a Witness Saw

A witness told police she "saw a blonde female come out of nowhere and get in a lady's face." The witness said she say Judge Astacio "put her hands out."

"I am unsure if she pushed her aggressively" the witness said, "but the blonde ended up falling back onto my husband's lap."

That's when Rochester Police got called and Monica Skinner was charged with harassment.

Late Tuesday, Astacio's new lawyer, Gregory Salmon, sent News10NBC a statement outlining why he thinks the probation violation charges against Judge Astacio should be dropped.

Astacio is accused of violating her probation when her court-ordered ankle bracelet tested positive for alcohol the day after she got out of jail in July and when she left Monroe County to go del Lago Sasino in September.

Salmon provided what he calls results of a hair test that he says proves Judge Astacio never drank.

Gregory Salmon, Judge Astacio's lawyer: It unequivocally substantiates that my client had abstained from alcohol and should never have been placed on probation.

Judge Astacio is scheduled to be in court October 23 for the probation violation charges. And on the same day, Monica Skinner is in court to be arraigned for harassment.


Berkeley Brean

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