Concerns about the state’s new bail reform laws are beginning to boil over, as law enforcement across New York are being forced to release potentially dangerous criminals back into their communities.
In Cortland County, District Attorney Patrick Perfetti has announced the release of three men who may still be a safety concern to residents – one of them a convicted sex offender with a 10-year criminal history.
“This new Bail Statute, hastily and irresponsibly enacted by the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo, has stripped away from judges their traditional discretionary considerations of ties to the community or threat to public safety,” Perfetti said. “The State’s District Attorneys support sensible changes to the bail statute that cure inequities due to income; yet, still ensure public safety.”
Thirty-year-old Zachary Gulini, of Cortland, was being held on a $250 bail since November for failing to register as a sex offender at his current address, a class “E” felony with the potential of 4 years in prison.
He was convicted of attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl when he was 20.
“This is an individual’s whose release from prison was conditioned upon complying with registration requirements. Without the ability to detain such an individual, there is no consequence for avoiding monitoring and the public safety is at risk from a proven violent sex offender,” said D.A. Perfetti.
Thirty-year-old Andre Miller is a PA resident who was already a fugitive from the Commonwealth.
He was stopped on Interstate-81 in November 2018 traveling 85 mph and lied to officers about his identity, prompting a search that would turn up enough narcotics for a top count of 3rd-Degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, a class “B” felony.
Miller had been held on $10,000 bail since his arrest in November of 2018 and could face up to 9 years in prison.
A Florida resident, 29-year-old Isaac Nyugen was arrested in June and was being held on a $20,000 bail related to a 21-count indictment charging felony Possession of Forged Instruments, Money Laundering, and Scheme to Defraud.
Those charges carry a maximum of 15 years in prison.
He was also arrested in December for illegally wiring money to his inmate account at CCJ.
“With no ties to this community, let alone New York State, we suspect that Miller and Nguyen may flee the jurisdiction, only to have to be extradited at taxpayer expense for trial in the future,” said D.A. Perfetti.
Perfetti says he plans to meet with members of the State Legislature this week to continue urging them to consider amendments to the new reforms.
Additionally, Cortland Police have released 52-year-old Shawn Fagan who shot a woman in the face with a pellet gun last weekend outside Crown park nursing home.
Fagan appeared for arraignment and a $5000.00 bond was set and immediately paid by a family member.
He’s next scheduled to appear in city court on January 22.
The female victim is recovering from surgery after having a .177 caliber pellet surgically removed from the inside of her lower jaw.