Irondequoit/Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) – The Irondequoit police officer accused of stalking and harassing his ex-girlfriend for several months was denied bail Friday morning in court.
The judge in charge of the detention hearing said William Rosica, 50, waged a “campaign of abuse and terror committed over a year.”
Rosica “harassed and tormented” an ex-girlfriend who ended a three-year-long relationship with him in February 2016, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in federal court.
In addition, the prosecution said it had additional potential victims come forward in the last 24 hours.
Covered by a jacket, Rosica was escorted into federal court, perhaps not even knowing his own brother, a Catholic priest, reportedly contacted the FBI over the allegations and encouraged them not to allow Rosica to have bail.
Prosecutors said between March 2016 and February 28, 2017, Rosica continually sent the victim and the victim’s ex-husband a barrage of harassing text messages, phone calls, and emails.
Rosica also allegedly tried to hack into the victim’s work email account and online medical records.
Rosica served as a police officer for 13 years; he was also a volunteer firefighter.
The Irondequoit Police Department placed Rosica on unpaid administrative leave indefinitely. Prosecutors said the department has started the process to fire him.
Some of Rosica’s alleged actions against the victim were revealed in court as the hearing in front of Judge Jonathan Feldman went on. During the Super Bowl this year, Rosica allegedly went to the victim’s ex-husband’s home and cut the cable to his cable box as the game went into overtime.
Prosecutors referred to Rosica’s actions as “constant 24/7 harassment.”
On Valentine’s Day, he allegedly sent her flowers with a card that read, “Your friends at the mental health clinic say hello.” Disturbing messages detailing ways for the victim to commit suicide were also sent to her phone and email address, according to the prosecution.
Prosecutor Melissa Marangola said a camera set up changed the case from cyber stalking to physical stalking.
Rosica is accused of setting up a “pole camera” near the victim’s house so he could track her when she would leave or come home, then sent her messages about knowing where she had gone. The criminal complaint details the messages sent through texts or fake email addresses, stating that he knew the victim had gotten a haircut, parked her car or left a light on at home.
Marangola added that Robert Kehoe, the former chief of SUNY Brockport Police, agreed to give him permission to say his cousin dated Rosica in 2009 and their relationship was “a carbon of what he read in the criminal complaint.”
“I have no confidence that an ankle bracelet will stop him from driving to her home and doing something to hurt her or her family,” Marangola said in court to Judge Feldman.
Prosecutors said these developments and new information gained in the last 24 hours show just how dangerous Rosica is to the victim.
“She’s absolutely frantic at this point,” Marangola said.
Defense attorney Clark Zimmerman tried to mitigate the actions of his client, stating Rosica did not threaten to kill the victim or physically abuse her.
“As a police officer, he is more aware of what violating a court order would mean,” Zimmerman said, adding that Rosica’s sister is a nun and would be able to help to keep an eye on him if he were granted bail.
While issuing the ruling on bail, Judge Feldman called Rosica’s actions against the victim “a campaign of abuse and terror committed over a year”, calling it “sadistic behavior” and adding that his “actions were unpredictable, irrational and certainly dangerous.”
“You are presumed innocent but as a police officer you were aware you might end up having to answer to your actions,” Judge Feldman added before denying Rosica bail.
Rosica is scheduled to return to court on March 31 at 3:30 p.m. If he is convicted on the charges against him, he faces up to five years in federal prison.
“He was very sophisticated, the judge pointed out, in how he carried out this crime,” Marangola added. “He’s lost his career, his family his friends know about it, I think he has nothing to lose at this point.
“He’s sworn to uphold the laws and protect and serve the community,” she continued. “And when they break the law they need to be treated just like anyone else.”
Powered by WPeMatico