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L.I. Judge Under Fire For Sex Offender Decision

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Graphic (CBS)

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GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (1010 WINS/CBS 2/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.

Tarantino is the focus of a five-page complaint filed by the group Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center.

“He gave a two time convicted sex offender access to these children without CPS (child protective services) being able to monitor the supervision, Laura Ahearn, of the center 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 order has been stayed pending appeal, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports.

“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, pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old in Nassau County , and in November 2009, was sentenced for a conviction of possession of child pornography in Suffolk County.

CBS 2′ Jennifer McLogan has also learned the Commission on Judicial Conduct has been asked to investigate whether Judge Tarantino went to a Long Island beach with a teenage respondent in another of his family court cases.

While the cases are being investigated, Tarantino has been re-assigned to hear only civil cases, Rivera reports.

For now, DeMille is allowed to have visitation rights with his children with his own parents acting as supervisors.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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