L.I. Family Court Judge Reassigned Amid Probe
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (1010 WINS/AP) – A Long Island judge who is the target of complaints from a victim’s advocacy group has been given other duties pending the findings of a state investigation.
State courts spokesman David Bookstaver says Suffolk County Family Court Judge Andrew Tarantino was reassigned. He said court policy prevented him from discussing details of judicial assignments.
Tarantino is the focus of a five-page complaint filed by the group Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center.
“He’s known as the champion for sex offender rights,” Laura Ahearn, of the advocacy group, said.
The group alleges that in April, Tarantino improperly granted twice-convicted sex offender, Dennis DeMille, overnight visitation rights with his own three children.
“The overnight visitation makes me a nervous wreck and sick that someone would even put my children at increased risk,” the childrens’ mother said.
The children are ages 7, 5 and 3.
“They’re too young, they’re innocent and I want them to stay that way,” the mother said.
In May 2008, DeMille, a former Garden City Middle School teacher, was convicted in Nassau County of Rape, and in November 2009, was sentenced for a conviction of possession of child pornography in Suffolk County.
Tarantino is also accused of inappropriate conduct in another family court case involving a young teen.
Tarantino has been reassigned to hear only civil cases while the complaints are investigated.