Fake N.Y. cop faces 132 years in prison
By Frank Eltman
The Associated Press
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — A man previously charged with impersonating a police officer pleaded not guilty Monday to allegations of using that bogus authority to rape a woman, molest teenagers, scam a bus driver and commit other crimes.
"By invoking a fear of violence and the authority of a badge and uniform, he manipulated these people," prosecutor Thomas Spota said. "They had no reason to doubt his ability to follow through on his threats or challenge what they logically interpreted as the legal authority of a law enforcement officer."
Terry, who lived in various places in Suffolk County, was accosting people as a police officer since at least 2005, prosecutors said. He had an authentic-looking uniform, a car with lights and sirens and a pair of handcuffs. He even had an office in neighboring Nassau County that served as an unofficial "police station," although no charges are pending against him there.
Terry's attorney, George Dazzo, described him as an "amiable, nice, easygoing 24-year-old man."
Among the allegations in the new 54-count indictment are two counts of first-degree rape. Terry is accused of displaying a gun and threatening a 28-year-old caretaker with arrest before sexually assaulting her in December 2006.
Prosecutors also contend Terry seduced a number of teenagers in his home, threatening them with arrest if they refused to comply with his orders. In April 2006, prosecutors said, Terry went to Greenwich Village in Manhattan and cajoled four teenagers to come with him back to Long Island, where one 15-year-old boy remained for an undetermined amount of time.
The indictment also accuses Terry of scamming a 56-year-old bus driver out of $120,000 in $15,000 increments between July and November 2005. Terry, using his law enforcement background to bolster his argument, convinced the man that he was being victimized in a credit card scam should hand the cash over to Terry for safekeeping, prosecutors said.
Terry faces up to 132 years in prison if convicted of all charges, which include animal abuse.
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