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Sex offender gets 5 years for failing to register

TIMES STAFF WRITER
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A Fort Covington man will serve 51/2 years in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender in New York.


Patrick P. Romeo, 68, of 81 Fort Covington St., was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Syracuse before Judge Glenn T. Suddaby for violating the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.


Romeo admitted in February in federal court that he failed to register as a sex offender in New York. He admitted not registering as a sex offender after moving from California to Fort Covington in May 2008, federal court records show. He was convicted in 2001 of molesting a 15-year-old girl in California in early 1996.


Assistant Federal Public Defender Melissa A. Tuohey, representing Romeo, said Tuesday she argued her client should receive from eight to 14 months in prison. She cited the dismissal of sex abuse charges against him in St. Lawrence County and the fact that Franklin County never indicted him on multiple sexual abuse charges.


"There should have been a downward departure on his sentencing guideline for that," Ms. Tuohey said.


The presentence report, done by the federal Probation Department, recommended that Romeo serve 27 to 33 months in prison. The report, which outlines a person's criminal history, helps a judge pick an appropriate sentence. Judge Suddaby sentenced him to 66 months in prison.


Romeo was accused of molesting a 7-year-old boy in August 2008 at Massena Town Beach in the town of Louisville. The case was dismissed last month in St. Lawrence County Court because of a lack of evidence.


He also was charged in Franklin County on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree sexual abuse and three counts each of child endangerment and forcible touching. He was charged in September with molesting three young boys, ages 7, 10 and 12, at a Fort Covington home.

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