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Beth Modica Pleads Guilty

Posted by shadmia on April 13, 2008

Beth Modica, 44, a former prosecutor and mother of four children, admitted in court that she had sex with two teenage boys in her Sloatsburg home during the summer. She now faces a maximum of 2 years in state prison. Modica was indicted in January on five felony sex counts, five misdemeanor counts of third-degree sexual abuse and 25 misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The endangering counts involved the providing or sharing of alcohol and marijuana with the two boys and five other minors during July and August. She did not plead to those counts. See more on Beth Modica here.

Based on her guilty plea, Modica also faces 10 years post-release supervision, registering as a sex offender and paying about $1,300 in DNA testing and court fees. She also will be disbarred. The judge ordered Modica held in Rockland County jail until her June 13 sentencing. Jail officials transferred Modica to an upstate facility for her own protection.

Standing with Gerard Damiani of New City, her lawyer, Modica admitted that in July she had intercourse with a 15-year-old boy in her bed and gave oral sex to a 16-year-old boy in the bathroom of her home. Modica admitted she knew that both Suffern High School boys – who were friends with her eldest son who is 16 – were underage when she had sex with them. She had been accused of providing oral sex to the 15-year-old on several other occasions.

Damiani still hopes to persuade acting state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bartlett to sentence Modica to county jail time or probation. He said Modica suffered what psychiatrists would call “disassociation.” He has cited her civic works and life as a mother and as a prosecutor and municipal lawyer, jobs she lost because of her actions. A presentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 4.

“Her conduct was an aberration,” Damiani said. “She has acknowledged her responsibility since the beginning. She didn’t want to put her family or any of the quote unquote victims through a trial. We hope to convince the judge to give her a more reasonable sentence,” he said.

Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said that the state prison sentence was the harshest he knew of for such a case. He said he considered Modica a child predator and the teen males victims, even if they and some other people in society don’t. He noted the law doesn’t distinguish between gender.

“The fact that the victims are males as opposed to females is irrelevant,” Zugibe said. “The psychological impact on the male victim is not always known. I am certain there are long-term effects on the kids.”

As she pleaded guilty, Modica’s mother and brother listened in the courtroom. So did her estranged husband, Spring Valley Police Chief Paul Modica, who sat on the other side of the courtroom from Modica’s mother with his hands clenched in his lap. See TV reports of her guilty plea here.

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2 Responses to “Beth Modica Pleads Guilty”

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