Charges Against Officer Dropped
Charges against Officer Dropped
By Chau Lam NEWSDAY STAFF WRITER
The Nassau County district attorney’s office yesterday dropped sodomy charges against a New York City police officer and his friend, saying the claim made by a 21-year-old woman was not credible.
The woman said Officer James Leghart, 33, of Levittown, and John Vallone, of Seaford, forced her to perform a sex act while they were in the backyard of Leghart’s home in August, a spokesman for District Attorney Denis Dillon said. Prosecutors said the woman, whom they did not identify, was a stranger to Leghart and Vallone and told police she was at Leghart’s home because a man who was giving her a ride from Staten Island to her mother’s home in Brooklyn decided to take her there.
Spokesman Rick Hinshaw said an investigation established that the woman worked for an escort service. The day of the alleged incident, Aug. 26, she and the driver for the business showed up at Leghart’s house apparently in response to a call placed by Leghart or Vallone, Hinshaw said. Faced with the possibility of being charged with patronizing a prostitute, a misdemeanor, Leghart and Vallone each pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a violation that his attorney, William Petrillo, said was an equivalent to a traffic infraction. Leghart was fined $310; the amount of Vallone’s fine was not known yesterday.
Cop cleared of sodomy charge
Authorities on Long Island have dropped a sodomy charge against an off duty city cop accused of forcing a woman to perform oral sex on him at a party last summer. A first degree sodomy charge against Officer James Leghart, 33 was dismissed and Leghart pleaded guilty to a minor violation of disorderly conduct stemming from the party, said his lawyer William Petrillo.
Leghart still faces a departmental hearing.
Kieran Crowley NEW YORK POST STAFF WRITER