Press-Republican

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March 9, 2013

Sex-abuse sentencing upheld

MALONE — A Malone man convicted of sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl he sometimes babysat lost an appeal this week.

William R. Izzo III, 37, of 16 Franklin St. was sentenced to 25 years in state prison in March 2011 by Franklin County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr. for first-degree criminal sex act, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Izzo was a family friend of the victim’s family in early 2007.

It wasn’t until the spring of 2010, when she was 9, that the girl told anyone Izzo had come into her bedroom years before and touched her genitals while she was sharing a bed with her sister.

JUROR QUESTION

In his appeal to the Third Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, Izzo said that during questioning to determine if one candidate was qualified to sit on the jury, the man was asked if he would have a problem deciding on a case if it hinged on the testimony of a child.

He answered, ‘I don’t know,’ and was excused from serving over the objection of the defense, the appeal had said.

Izzo claims that answer didn’t necessarily preclude the man from being impartial and that he should have been able to serve on the jury.

But the judges said a potential juror must “give unequivocal assurance that they can render an impartial verdict based on the evidence. Here, the juror’s uncertain responses as to whether he could convict on the basis of only one child witness clearly justified (Main’s) decision to excuse him for cause.”

DIDN’T DISPUTE CRIMES

Izzo also claimed the evidence presented by prosecutors was not legally weighty enough to justify the jury’s verdict, that the child was too young to understand that she had to tell the truth under oath, and that there was no evidence to back up her version of events.

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