Seneca Falls man rejects sex abuse plea deal

A Seneca Falls man accused of sexually abusing a teen rejected a plea deal Monday in Seneca County Court.

Rocco Assi, 50, declined to plead guilty to first-degree attempted criminal sexual act, a class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The deal was offered by the district attorney’s office.

If Assi pleaded guilty, Judge Dennis Bender committed to a prison sentence of 3½ years followed by seven years’ parole. Assi’s attorney, Joe Sapio, countered by saying his client would be all right with pleading guilty to third-degree criminal sexual act, a class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison. The DA’s office would not agree to that.

Sheriff’s office investigators arrested Assi in October, also charging him with second-degree dissemination of indecent materials to a minor. He is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a 16-year-old in Fayette, and sending sexually explicit images and messages to the teen.

Assi remains in the county jail in lieu of $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond.

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