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Sentencing delayed for teacher convicted of molesting student

Syracyse, New York (AP) 10-07

Sentencing was postponed October 3rd for a former music teacher who was found guilty of molesting a student at the Onondaga Indian Nation School.

Alberto Scerbo, 45, of Clay, faces up to seven years in prison. But his sentencing was delayed by Onondaga County Judge William Walsh because of an article in the October 3rd editions of a local newspaper that quoted two jurors who described how they reached a conviction. According to Scerbo’s attorney, Edward Menkin, the article in the Syracuse Post-Standard raises some serious legal questions.

Judge Walsh gave Menkin until Oct. 31 to file new motions to throw out the verdict.

“I’m very disappointed in what went down,” said Maureen Lyons, one of about 40 nation members present in the courtroom. “We’ve got not just the families but the children that are involved in this, and each day that this goes on, they’re being traumatized with having to relive the whole situation,”

Neither Scerbo nor Menkin would comment further as they left the courthouse.

Scerbo, a father of two, was convicted in August of one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child in the molestation of a 7-year-old girl at the reservation school.

He originally was accused in a 35-count indictment of endangering 17 girls and molesting 16 of them between September 2002 and December 2006. However, Walsh dismissed some of the charges before and during Scerbo’s trial, and the jury acquitted Scerbo of 17 of the remaining 19 counts against him.

During his trial, Scerbo took the witness stand to adamantly deny that he molested any of the girls. Scerbo admitted that he sometimes allowed students to sit on his lap but never received any sexual gratification from it.
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