February 24, 2010

Local woman admits to rape charge


QUEENSBURY — Joey Strong sobbed and struggled to compose herself when she admitted in court this week to having sex with an underage teenage boy.

The AuSable Forks mother appeared in Warren County Court Monday to plead guilty to felony rape for the sexual encounter at a Queensbury motel last year.

Authorities have said the 36-year-old former volunteer youth-basketball coach provided the 16-year-old with beer and had sex with him last March when she, her son and the boy were in the area to watch a state basketball tournament.

Strong was not accused of forcing the boy into having sex but was charged due to the teen’s age. The legal age of consent in New York is 17.

After her arrest, Strong was indicted on the original charges of endangering the welfare of a child, unlawfully dealing with a child and third-degree rape. Her plea to rape satisfied all the charges.

Strong, who has remained free on conditions, appeared in court with her husband and tearfully admitted the allegations in exchange for a six-month interim probation period.

Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan said the judge will review the case once the interim term is over to determine Strong’s ultimate sentence.

“If she has done well, she will be sentenced to 10 years probation, and if she has not done well, she will be sentenced to state prison,” Hogan said Wednesday.

In addition to the expected term of probation, Strong must now register as a sex offender and undergo sex-offender treatment and any drug or alcohol counseling deemed necessary.

Hogan said a full no-contact order has been handed down for the victim.

Strong is well-known within the AuSable community after having volunteered several years as the girls basketball coach for Holy Name School.

She could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

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