A New York man who was accused of raping two teenage girls entered a not guilty plea to five misdemeanor charges on Wednesday. Due to an error in court paperwork, most of his initial charges have been dismissed.
John Halacy, 23, was arrested in February for sexually abusing a 13-year-old and 14-year-old female between last December and February. He also reportedly supplied the young girls with prescription drugs.
According to local ABC affiliate News10, Halacy (pictured) was initially charged with Use of Child in a Sexual Performance, five counts of Rape 2nd-degree, eight counts of Criminal Sex Act 2nd-degree, five counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, Sexual Abuse 2nd-degree and Sexual Abuse 3rd-degree.
On Wednesday morning, however, most of his charges were dismissed. Halacy pleaded not guilty to only five misdemeanor charges: Second-degree Attempted Rape, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Unlawful Imprisonment.
Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally admitted that a mistake in court paperwork is likely to blame for Halacy’s reduced charges.
Halacy’s paperwork was supposed to be filed by Laura Krueglar, who handles sex crimes for the DA’s office. However, because Krueglar never submitted the paperwork, many of the charges against Halacy have been dropped.
The mother of one the victims called this error “a slap in the face.”
“He’s getting let go because someone couldn’t do their job,” she told NEWS10.
“This is completely unacceptable,” the mother added. “He’s supposed to be behind bars to keep girls safe, these girls have come forward it’s all for nothing. I lost all faith in our justice system right then and there.”
The mother’s attorney Stephen Coffey also commented on the court’s error.
“There is a failure to monitor these cases inside the DA’s office,” Coffey said. “The case was waived to Grand Jury, it got into the main office, no one paid attention to it or it got lost and the defense was smart enough not to say anything.”
Halacy is due to reappear in court on Dec. 11. According to YNN Hudson Valley, the district attorney expects the misdemeanor charges to be formally dropped.