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A Yonkers official pleaded guilty today to sodomizing a year-old Westchester County boy whom he had met through the Internet, and to charges of possessing pornographic images of children.Chatting to Strangers on the DARK WEB (GONE WRONG!!!!)
The official, James Surdoval, who was director of the Yonkers Waterfront Development Corporation, entered the guilty plea two days after pretrial hearings began in his sodomy case. Although the sodomy count alone carried a maximum sentence of four years in prison, Judge Kenneth H. Lange of Westchester County Court said he intended to sentence Mr. Surdoval to five years' probation with special conditions for sex offenders.
He did not explain how he arrived at that sentence. In a news conference in her office after the hearing, the Westchester district attorney, Jeanine F. Pirro, denounced the relatively light sentence. We feel these are the kinds of crimes that require incarceration.
Surdoval's lawyer, Neal Comer, prevented his client from commenting after the hearing, saying only that ''he wants to thank his friends and family for standing by him. But colleagues who had supported Mr. Surdoval for months while he denied the charges adopted a different tone today. The mayor of Yonkers, John D. Spencer, who had ''urged restraint'' to ''those who would rush to judgment'' after the initial indictment, announced that Mr. Surdoval had been fired.
Surdoval was the most prominent of nine men who were indicted in the last year on charges of molesting a dozen boys after meeting them in computer chat rooms. The continuing investigation of Internet activities by suspected pedophiles began after an investigation into the killing early last year of a year-old Yonkers boy, Orlandito Rosario Maldonado.Virtual Docent Tour: Glenview’s Greatest Hits
DeRosario, whom police named as the lead suspect in the killing. After officials found evidence in Mr. DeRosario's apartment that he had solicited minors over the Internet, they interviewed those minors and found additional suspects. Earlier this month, Mr.
DeRosario, who has not been charged in the killing, pleaded guilty to sex attacks on 12 other youths.
Surdoval, a respected economic-development official who had also worked as a close adviser to two Yonkers mayors, was charged in September with third-degree sodomy and endangering the welfare of. Last week, the district attorney's office charged him in a count indictment with storing on his home computer images of children having sex.
Each of those counts also carries a maximum prison sentence of up to four years. The authorities said that they had found 10, pornographic photographs stored in his computer, and that of 6, analyzed to date, 27 images clearly depicted children under Most of all, friends say, Mr.
Surdoval wanted to avoid going to jail, and by pleading guilty to all the counts, he effectively removed the district attorney's office from the sentencing negotiations. But Ms. Pirro expressed pride in her office's success in the Internet probe.
As part of his probation, Mr. Surdoval must adhere to special conditions for sex offenders that are enforced by the county's probation department, which include supervision, treatment and limits on his activities. His sentencing was scheduled for Aug. View on timesmachine.
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