Judge denies appeal by former school board member

CHATHAM–County Court Judge Richard Koweek has denied an appeal by former Chatham school board member Francis Iaconetti, who sought a reversal of his conviction for harassing a student in the district.

Mr. Iaconetti was convicted in the Chatham Village Court in April 2012 of second degree harassment. In his appeal he asked that the case against him be thrown out due to insufficient evidence.

Judge Koweek’s ruling issued January 15 in Hudson found that “the evidence is of such weight and credibility as to convince this Court that the trail court was justified in finding defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The village court heard testimony from a then 15-year-old neighbor of Mr. Iaconetti’s that in May 2011 he moved aside the hair on her neck without her permission to see whether she had a tattoo. The girl’s 13-year-old brother, who witnessed the incident, also testified. The girl’s father also testified as did village Deputy Police Chief Mark Leggett, both of whom talked to the girl after the incident.

In his testimony Mr. Iaconetti admitted that he approached both children, asked the girl if she’d gotten a tattoo, “took his left hand and slid her hair and sweater towards the back of her neck and looked at her shoulder.” He said he had no intention to annoy, alarm or harass her.

The Chatham court found Mr. Iaconetti guilty of harassment in the second degree and sentenced him to a conditional discharge.

Mr. Iaconetti served on the Chatham Board of Education for 16 years and resigned after his conviction last April.

He could not be reached by phone before press deadline.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

 

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