TICONDEROGA — A former Ticonderoga emergency-services dispatcher has lost his appeal of a sexual-abuse conviction.

Michael E. Alteri, 35, of Ticonderoga was convicted by an Essex County Court jury in November 2006 of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree sexual abuse and sentenced to a year in the Essex County Jail.

The charges alleged he fondled a then-16-year-old girl’s breast and vagina while she was lying partially unclothed on a bed during a party at the home of another dispatcher. Alteri served his sentence on those charges and has been released from jail.

He appealed his convictions to the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, but the court upheld the jury’s decision.

Through his attorney, G. Scott Walling of Queensbury, Alteri alleged there was insufficient evidence of both the touching and the date it occurred.

At his trial, he introduced evidence suggesting he was attending a fire company Christmas party at the time the alleged incident took place.

But the court said both the defendant’s girlfriend and the victim recalled the incident happened the first weekend of December 2005.

The court did say the verdict could have gone either way.

“Since an acquittal would not have been unreasonable, we weighed the conflicting testimony and rational inferences that may be drawn there from. We are not persuaded the jury’s verdict was against the weight of evidence.”

Alteri also argued in his appeal that he should have been able to introduce evidence of the victim’s prior sexual conduct.

The court said such evidence would normally be inadmissible and would have shown his conduct was unlikely to be harmful to her mental or moral welfare.

Testimony at the trial indicted that because of excessive alcohol consumption the girl had passed out on the bed at the time of the assault.

Alteri was previously successful in getting a 2006 felony eavesdropping charge dismissed. He had been charged by Ticonderoga Town Police with placing a hidden microphone in the home of his then-estranged wife, but the Appellate Division said a search warrant issued by Ticonderoga Town Justice Court was defective.

Alteri was one of three people convicted of sexual misconduct with the underage girl at parties held by another dispatcher. He resigned soon after his February 2006 arrest.

Ticonderoga Emergency Services Dispatch has since been closed, and its duties were turned over to the Essex County Enhanced-911 center.



E-mail Lohr McKinstry at:

lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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