Case Of Mistaken Identity Rocks NY Man’s Reputation

COLD SPRING, N.Y. (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — A bizarre coincidence has one upstate man trying to convince his neighbors he’s not an accused child molester.

With the same age, same family status, and same name, Robert Viggiano has become a shocked victim of mistaken identity in Putnam County, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.

“We’re just trying to get the word out that it’s a different Robert Viggiano, that’s all,” he said.

Robert L. Viggiano has been on the phone for two days, trying to convince people that he’s not Robert S. Viggiano, who was arrested for allegedly soliciting sex with a 10-year-old girl in Yonkers this week.

The two Robert Viggianos are not related and have never met, even though they live just ten miles apart and share a number of remarkable similarities.

“We’re both in Cold Spring, we both have the same exact hame, we’re both married with two kids, we’re both contractors,” Robert L. Viggiano said. “It’s beyond weird.”

Viggiano told WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi the coincidence has turned his life into a living hell.

Robert L. Viggiano tells WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi about the sleepless nights and constant phone calls

“I just really want to clear it up and just let it be known that that’s not me, I’m not that guy. I’m Robert L. Viggiano, the plumber, and I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said.

The enormity of it all struck him in Briarcliff, as he was doing plumbing work at a pediatric dentists’ office. The horror descended, as stuffed animals looked on.

“Robert’s name came on the radio,” dentist Dr. David Weiss said. “I looked at him and I said, ‘what,’ and he said, ‘it’s not me,’ vehemently denied that it was him.”

“I don’t know what they thought. It didn’t sound good, and they didn’t look happy,” Viggiano said. “It actually made me feel guilty.”

At one point, Viggiano said, reporters even came to his neighborhood, knocking on neighbors’ doors to let them know who lives on the block. They literally brought the case of mistaken identity to his very doorstep.

“Right away we were horrified and shocked,” neighbor Sharon DiPalo said. “It was scary – we know him.”

It is such a horrible misunderstanding that the other Robert Viggiano’s wife even called to apologize for the mix-up. Robert L. Viggiano said that’s helped put things in perspective.

“For his family, my heart goes out to them,” he said. “I’m getting not even a fraction of what they’re going through, and it’s hell.”

Robert S. Viggiano, the accused suspect, is being held without bail at Westchester County Jail.

More from Lou Young
  • Maggie, Ade

    I also think the reporter who went to knock on Viggiano’s L door should have done a name search before proceeding with the story. The reporter must be accountable for this mess. No respectable, honorable, hard working individual should have to go through that,

  • Auburn Dale

    The reporters who went around Robert L.’s neighborhood “knocking on neighbors’ doors to let them know who lives on the block” KNEW that it was the wrong guy (because they’re reporters so it’s their job to know). All of them should be sued for slander AND arrested for aiding and abetting Robert S.


    I love my METHADONE….

  • gracie prophet

    I think the police need to investigate anyone named Robert Viggiano. How can we ever be sure they’re not all child molesters? Arrest them all and have them prove their innocence. The whole innocent until proven guilty thing really isn’t working out too well.

  • Aliraza Scir Williams

    name your kid a weird name and this will never be an issue

  • frank

    Why Isn’t the woman cop in jail for selling her daughter. After all the whole thing is fiction.

  • Crispy

    Cold Spring is 50 miles from the city, it’s not upstate.

    • Tuite98

      That’s upstate to us. You mean there’s more?

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