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February 12, 2014

Sex offender found dead after missed sentencing

PLATTSBURGH — Police say a Beekmantown man killed himself near Plattsburgh Boat Basin after he failed to appear in court Monday for sentencing on felony sex charges.

Leonard Cormier, 74, would have spent eight years in state prison for two counts of second-degree criminal sex act after admitting to having sexual contact with a young woman with Down syndrome.

Cormier hanged himself off his boat, which was stored at the Plattsburgh marina, said Plattsburgh City Police Lt. Patrick Rascoe.

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday afternoon at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh by Dr. Jolie Rodriguez.

‘FOUND BY POLICE’

After Cormier did not show up for his sentencing in Clinton County Integrated Domestic Violence Court Monday afternoon, a bench warrant was issued by Judge Timothy Lawliss, prompting State Police to begin searching for him, the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office confirmed.

After speaking with friends of the victim who went looking for him earlier that day, State Police went to the marina and found Cormier’s body at 7:46 p.m., Rascoe said.

Cormier had faced eight felony charges, among them rape but had accepted a plea agreement that covered the lesser crimes.

The sentence would also have included 10 years of post-release supervision after he served the eight years, the DA’s Office said. And he would have been required to register as a sex offender.

While he would have also been sentenced to one year in County Jail on the misdemeanor charge of second-degree sexual-abuse, that wouldn’t have added more time on the state prison sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Clinton County Assistant District Attorneys Domenica Padula and Jaime Douthat.

UNRELATED

Cormier’s death is not connected to the suicide of Wayne C. Cashman, who shot himself after murdering his wife, Ann Marie, on Monday.

“It’s related by proximity only,” Rascoe said.

Mr. Cashman’s body was found Monday morning at Plattsburgh Boat Basin.

Detectives had left the dock area by the time word came in of Cormier’s suicide, Rascoe said.

Email Felicia Krieg: fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg

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