Johnson City Police Concerned About Accused Rapist’s Release
The Village of Johnson City Police say a Syracuse man is being charged with felony counts of Rape and Forcible Compulsion in a reported sexual assault Saturday, September 10.
According to a news release from the police department, which authorities also posted on social media, 26-year-old Antonio Bethune was found along with the alleged female victim after the report of the attack on September 10.
The initial news release pointed out that Johnson City Police Detectives were able to collect evidence related to the incident to have Bethune charged with Rape in the First Degree, which is a Class-B felony.
The Syracuse man was arraigned then released from custody with no bail set.
The news release from the police department posted in the afternoon (September 14) said: “Rape 1st degree is a qualifying offense that allow judges to set bail for this offense.”
Hours later, the police posted an update on their Facebook pages saying further information from a New York State Supreme Court Judge “indicates there are some circumstances in cases such as this, as a result of bail reform restrictions, that left Judge (Steven) Tillotson with little choice but to release the suspect without bail.”
The post continues to say authorities planned to have further discussions with the 6th Judicial Court concerning circumstances where a suspect could be held on bail.
The post concludes: “The Johnson City Police Department wants to make sure that the public is aware of what is happening in their communities, but it is of the upmost importance that we make sure we have all the facts before we express our outrage.”
A number of media outlets previously reported the initial arrest pointing out the suspect’s release without posting bail.