Valatie resident faces child pornography allegations

Joseph Benvenuto

VALATIE—The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) from the Livingston barracks and the Troop K Computer Crimes Unit (CCU) arrested Joseph M. Benvenuto, 30, of Valatie on five counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child, a class E felony, October 10.

An investigation by Livingston BCI and Troop K CCU led them to obtain a Columbia County Court-issued search warrant for Mr. Benvenuto’s residence.

Further investigation uncovered that Mr. Benvenuto allegedly possessed child pornography. Read more…

Mother charged with manslaughter in toddler’s death

GREENPORT—State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Livingston arrested Sareese M. Stewart, 30, of Greenport for second degree manslaughter, a class C felony, October 6.

State Police responded to Ten Broeck Lane in Greenport with emergency medical service personnel, June 23, for an unresponsive child, who was later pronounced dead at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

The subsequent investigation in conjunction with the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and the Columbia County Coroner’s Office determined Ms. Stewart allegedly recklessly caused the death of her 21-month-old son. Read more…

Hudson man faces new, multiple charges of child sex abuse

Mohammed Ali, (seated, c), appeared in County Court with his attorney Michael Howard (r), for the opening of a second grand jury indictment, September 25. Photo by Lance Wheeler

HUDSON—Mohammed Ali, 68, of Hudson has been indicted for a second time in as many months on sex abuse charges.

In Columbia County Court September 25, Judge Richard Koweek opened a sealed grand jury indictment charging Mr. Ali with first degree sex abuse, a class D felony. The indictment alleges that Mr. Ali subjected a child, less than 11 years old, to sexual contact on or about the summer of 2014.

Mr. Ali was previously charged on nine counts in an August 12 indictment in connection with alleged sexual contact with three children. Read more…

Cold Case: State Police press case of Catskill woman’s 2000 homicide

LIVINGSTON—New York State Police from the Livingston barracks continue to investigate the homicide of 43-year-old Jacqueline McCalop of Catskill.

Jacqueline McCalop

On September 30, 2000, the State Police responded to the shoreline of the Hudson River, south of the city of Hudson. Two duck hunters discovered a body on the east shoreline of the river in a secluded but accessible area at a boat launch off Hallenbeck Road in Greenport.

The victim, identified as Jacqueline McCalop, had died as a result of stab wounds to her torso.

An investigation revealed Ms. McCalop’s family had not seen her since September 14, 2000 and had reported her missing on September 24, 2000. Read more…

Investigation continues after woman is struck by train

GREENPORT—A New York City woman was killed when she was struck by an Amtrak train, September 11.

Columbia County 911 dispatched the Hudson Fire Department, the Greenport Rescue Squad and the Hudson Police Department to the railroad tracks, north of the Hudson Amtrak Train Station for a report of a person struck by a train at 7:50 p.m. When officials subsequently determined that the incident was in the Town of Greenport, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation.

They found that a southbound Amtrak passenger train destined for New York City, struck and killed Anna M. Podgorbunski, 54, of New York City as she walked northbound on the train tracks. The incident occurred about a mile or mile and a half north of the Hudson station. Read more…