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Arraignment in East Hampton

By T.E. McMorrow 
Mauro Pacheco, accused of sodomizing a Springs woman, was brought into East Hampton Town Justice Court by East Hampton Town police officers on Saturday. T.E. McMorrow

A longtime resident was accused last Thursday night of sodomizing a Springs woman at her home. East Hampton Town police charged Mauro Pacheco of East Hampton, 42, with committing a criminal sex act in the first degree, a felony that carries a minimum sentence of five years in state prison upon conviction.

Mr. Pacheco’s attorney, Colin Astarita, claimed during Mr. Pacheco’s arraignment Saturday in East Hampton Town Justice Court that the woman, who he said had known his client for three years, had seduced him, and that whatever happened was consensual. The identity of the alleged victim is sealed under New York State law covering sex crimes.

Armed with her description of Mr. Pacheco’s car, a 2011 Ford, an officer made a traffic stop on Montauk Highway, noting in the report that Mr. Pacheco had “left the scene of a domestic incident.” At headquarters in Wainscott, the driver’s breath test reportedly produced a reading of .09, just above the level that defines intoxication, and police added a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving to the Class B felony count, as well as a seatbelt violation.

“I had two glasses of wine,” Mr. Pacheco is said to have told the arresting officer. “I wanted to just have a fun night with my girlfriend . . . she bit me. I shoved her off.”

Mr. Pacheco’s clothes were confiscated and he was given a physical examination. He was in a police-issued jumpsuit at the arraignment. His lawyer said the defendant would submit a DNA sample to police in coming days.

According to Mr. Astarita, Mr. Pacheco owns a construction company based in East Hampton and a house in Hampton Bays, where his ex-wife and three children are living. He sold his East Hampton house recently, the lawyer said, and is living temporarily in Riverhead while looking for a new one. He has a post office box in Amagansett.

Mr. Pacheco’s brother was in the courtroom for his arraignment, with two other men and a woman, who wept throughout the proceedings. The district attorney’s office had phoned the court to request that bail be set at $50,000. Mr. Astarita told Justice Rana that his client had significant ties to the area and no criminal record, adding that the complainant had “psych” issues. “We’re not having a trial about the complaining witness right now,” Justice Rana responded. She issued an order of protection for the alleged victim, requiring that Mr. Pacheco have no contact with her whatsoever, and set bail at $25,000, which was posted that same day.

Mr. Astarita said Tuesday that his client had been “assaulted” by a jealous woman. “We are confident that justice will prevail, and he will be cleared of any wrongdoing,” he said.