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Suzanne Corona

Sex in the City: Suzanne Corona accused of promoting prostitution at her home

By Howard B. Owens
Suzanne Corona
2010 mugshot

A Batavia woman whose previous antics have led to multiple criminal charges over the past decade, including a charge of adultery that made international headlines, has been accused of allowing prostitution at her home on Osterhout Avenue.

Suzanne M. Corona, 51, is charged with promoting prostitution, 4th (advance or profits from prostitution), and permitting prostitution on a premises.

It's alleged that on Aug. 19, Corona allowed prostitution to occur at her residence and agreed, in advance, to accept a fee for another person to engage in sexual activity while at the residence. 

Corona was released on an appearance ticket. 

There were two other people arrested as part of the incident, according to a police source, but those arrest reports have not yet been released.

Corona's name became familiar locally after her arrest in early June 2010 on an adultery charge for engaging in a sexual act with a man on a picnic table at Farrall Park. The adultery statute has rarely been used in New York and her arrest made headlines in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. The police department was surprised by the interest in the case. The adultery charge was eventually dropped by prosecutor Lawrence Friedman. She admitted to public lewdness.

Shortly after that case was closed, Corona was accused of trashing the buffet at the now-defunct South Beach Restaurant. Initially, owner Ken Mistler was going to have her carry a sign on Main Street that read "I Stole from South Beach." After a "sincere apology" and restitution, Mistler dropped his demand for the "walk of shame."

She was arrested on a shoplifting charge in 2011, as well as being accused of shoplifting at Target while a K-9 and deputy were in the store for a public demo. In 2015, Corona admitted to a drug-dealing felony. That conviction lead to a year-and-a-half in prison, followed by probation, and until this most recent arrest, she had managed to avoid trouble with the law.

The prostitution case was investigated by Officer Arick Perkins along with officers Wesley Rissinger and Adam Tucker.

Suzanne Corona sentenced today to year and a half in prison

By Billie Owens

Suzanne Corona was sentenced to one and a half years in state prison this afternoon and one year post-release supervision by Genesee County Court Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka.

The determinant sentence was given for her guilty plea last year to one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

She admitted selling one suboxone pill for $60 to an undercover drug agent.

Although Corona has a record of petty, albeit some sensational, crimes dating back to 2010, the suboxone sale was her first felony offense.

She could have avoided prison entirely had she been able to successfully complete probation, given in lieu of incarceration, in that case.

But in April she admitted lacing her coffee with the liqueur Amaretto. In exchange for her admission of the probation violation, Judge Pietruszka allowed her to continue probation without any additional penalty.

A week later, she tested postive for alcohol again and was sent to jail for the weekend. On April 25, she was back in court and the judge released her to the custody of an inpatient rehab facility for a month after signing a court order for the medical care. Upon release, she was in court for a bail review hearing and the judge determined that despite the stay in rehab, she was in violation of her probation and she was ordered back to jail.

Today, she smiled wanly at her husband in the gallery when she was led into the courtroom by a bailiff. Wearing navy blue scrubs and canvas slip-on shoes, chained at the waist and handcuffed, she stood with regal posture next to her attorney, Brian Degnan.

"Miss Corona has a lengthy criminal history -- both in this court and in local courts," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell (standing in for ADA William Zickl). "She has shown a lack of ability to comply with the conditions of her probation."

Attorney Degnan said his client successfully completed the month-long rehab program and that authorities recommend she be placed in a halfway house, a sober living facility, but she and her spouse cannot afford the $900-per-month cost of that option. He acknowleged her failure to comply with probation and said she intends to take classes to improve her mental health and well being.

"She has issues she needs to work on," Degnan said.

Degnan disputed Zickl's characterization of his client's criminal past, specifically the claim that she "has a lengthy criminal history in this court."

The judge asked Corona if she had anything to say on her own behalf. She did.

"I would like to apologize to you for not being able to complete my probation," she said clearly and sincerely, adding that she intends to take as many classes as she can to improve herself.

Then, choking back tears, she said "I apologize to my family for being so selfish and not realizing how much hurt I have caused them. My family has suffered and now they'll suffer because I won't be here."

With that, the matter was concluded. Her husband told her that he loved her; she waved awkwardly to him with one of her manacled hands and was led away.

Corona will likely lose her freedom in mid-July after violating terms of probation

By Billie Owens

After violating her one-year interim probation twice, Osterhout Avenue's most infamous denizen, Suzanne Corona, was back in Genesee County Court today for a bail review.

Her attorney, Brian Degnan, brought a freshly minted certificate of completion for a 28-day stint in an inpatient recovery facility for substance abusers, which was ordered by the court last month after Corona's second violation -- both for using alcohol.

On April 13, she admitted to Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that she laced her coffee with the almond-flavored Italian liqueur Amaretto. With the admission, Pietruszka allowed her to continue serving probation without any additional penalty.

But a week later, she tested postive for alcohol again and was sent to jail for the weekend (mug shot at right). On April 25, she was back in court wearing a bright orange jailhouse jumpsuit. Degnan said a bed in a recovery facility was available immediately and the judge released her to their custody for a month after signing a court order for the medical care.

Despite the certificate for completing rehab as required, it was determined that she had violated the terms of her release under supervision, as set forth last year when she admitted selling $60 worth of suboxone to an undercover drug task force agent. (She pled guilty to attempted fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. By doing so, she avoided serving up to one and a half years in prison and got one year of post-release supervision and probation instead...until now...)

She is to be sentenced in Genesee County Court at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14. 

Suzanne Corona admits to dosing coffee with Amaretto in violation of probation

By Billie Owens

Suzanne Corona admitted to a violation of her probation in Genesee County Court on Wednesday afternoon and therefore Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka allowed her to continue serving probation without any additional penalty.

"I put Amaretto in my coffee," she told the judge, explaining why a urine sample taken from her on March 21 tested positive for alcohol, which she is forbidden from imbibing under the terms of her probation.

The terms were set forth last year after she admitted selling $60 worth of suboxone, a controlled substance, to an undercover agent of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

By pleading guilty on Aug. 3, she avoided serving up to one and a half years in prison and one year of post-release supervision and got probation instead, without objection from the DA's Office.

Although she got into trouble with the law several times during the period of 2010 and 2014, she had never faced a felony charge until then. As a first-time felony offender, the judge in the case, Robert C. Noonan, now retired, had leeway to give her jail time instead or probation.

Corona made headlines worldwide when she was arrested on an adultery charge in 2010 after being observed in an apparent sexual act with a man not her husband on a picnic table in Farrall Park. Then came accusations of shoplifting from a local restaurant, which led to a disturbance there and Corona being wheeled away on a gurney into a waiting ambulance, and various other shoplifting charges, including an arrest at Target on a day when a Sheriff's deputy was there doing a K-9 demonstration.

The Ousterhout Avenue resident avoided getting into trouble for a long time and then came the arrest for selling suboxone.

After testing positive for alcohol last month, she initially denied violating the conditions of her probation, then on the advice of her attorney, Brian Degnan, she reversed course. Even in court yesterday, after having conferred with her attorney, she at first refused to admit guilt.

Pietruszka asked if she was on medication and she said is prescribed medication for "mental health, pain, anxiety and thyroid." When asked, she said she has never been in treatment for drug addiction but she has, and continues, treatment for alcoholism.

Asked if she was satisfied with her attorney, she said yes, and acknowleged that her admission of guilt was being made without coercion or under any threat, and with the understanding that admitting the violation was the same as being convicted after a hearing in court.

The judge said in reviewing her file, he saw nothing to indicate an extra penalty would be imposed if she failed supervision. He said the interim supervision of probation imposed last summer would continue.

Corona, in her mid-40s, was easily the best-dressed person in the gallery of the courtroom Wednesday, admittedly not a high bar. She wore a short, navy blue, knit panel skirt and matching jacket, with buff-colored pumps, nude hose, a cloth shoulder bag with a long strap that had wide, bold navy and white stripes. Her chunky silver wristwatch was encrusted with crystals. French manicured nails, one fingertip painted navy; silver thumb ring and thin silver bangle earrings. Her perfume? "Juicy Couture."

After she left the courtroom by herself, she seemed relieved, the nervousness she conceded earlier abated. Asked how she ended up where she is, she sadly and briefly articulated the "rough road" of her upbringing and said she is working hard on her issues.

And Degnan couldn't help but note that for someone like his client to have only slipped up once in nearly a year is in itself an accomplishment.

"I pay $105 out of my own pocket for counseling, (I go) three times a week," she said proudly. "I don't get public assistance."

Suzanne Corona admits to drug dealing felony

By Howard B. Owens

Suzanne Corona, infamous because of her 2010 arrest on an adultery charge, and who's been in and out of trouble with the law ever since, admitted this morning to her first felony conviction.

In Genesee County Court, as part of a plea deal, Corona entered a guilty plea to a single count of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, a Class E felony.

As a result, she faces up to one-and-a-half years in jail, but as a first-time felony offender, and no limitation on her sentence as part of the deal, Judge Robert C. Noonan will have latitude to give her a shorter jail term or even probation.

She is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 29.

Corona admitted to selling an amount of suboxone to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force in May 2014.

As part of the plea deal, she agreed to restitution to the county of $60.

The story of Suzanne Corona made international tabloids in June 2010 after a Batavia police officer responded to a complaint in Farrall Park of a couple engaged in sexual activity. The officer, knowing Corona and knowing the man she was with wasn't her husband, charged her with adultery, a seldom used criminal charge in the State of New York. In the following months and years, Corona was arrested on a series of petty theft charges, and then didn't make the news for a long time prior to this arrest.

She was initially charged with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Photo: file photo.

Plea agreement delayed for Suzanne Corona's alleged drug sale charge

By Traci Turner

So far, there's no plea agreement for Suzanne Corona in her alleged drug sale charge. The attorneys in the case could not reach an agreement, though Corona was scheduled to appear in Genesee County Court today for a possible plea.

Judge Robert C. Noonan held a conference with Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl and Corona's attorney Brian Degnan but with no deal, the case was adjourned.

Corona, 45, of Osterhout Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. She allegedly sold suboxone to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force in March.

If a plea is not negotiated, the case will go to trial.

She is due back in court at 9 a.m. on Aug. 3.

For previous coverage, click here.

Suzanne Corona jailed on drug sale charge

By Howard B. Owens

Suzanne Corona

With the exception of a petit larceny charged a year ago, Suzanne Corona has pretty much been able to keep her name out of the news since 2011.

The 45-year-old Osterhout Avenue resident became an international sensation in June 2010 when he was caught in a sexually compromised situation on a picnic table in Farrall Park.

The illicit tryst for the married woman led to a rare criminal charge of adultery, which sparked news headlines in tabloids from New York to London to Australia. 

Over the next year, her exploits continued to make news, especially in Western New York, but then she faded from view.

Her arrest by the Local Drug Task Force on Tuesday has her facing her most serious criminal charges yet.

Corona is accused of selling suboxone to an agent of the task force.

She is charged with fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The charges are the fist time she faces a possible felony conviction.

Corona was jailed pending a bail review today.

Top: File photo from 2011.

Corona allegedly tried to steal from Target with law enforcement in store

By Howard B. Owens

Shortly after 4:30 p.m., Suzanne Corona, who has been involved in previous criminal cases that made news, walked into the Target store on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Dressed in a gray jacket and blue jeans, she carried a bag over to customer service and pulled out two clothing items for exchange. After showing a receipt for the purchase, she received a handful of cash and put it in her purse.

Corona then walked past a local reporter, a Sheriff's Deputy and his K-9 and the store's asset protection manager, seemingly avoiding eye contact as she proceeded to the jewelry counter.

The asset protection manager, alerted her security staff. She said, "We have her on camera."

The reporter left the store, thinking, "what could possibly happen with a deputy, a K-9, and an asset protection manager right here?"

About five minutes later, Corona reportedly left the store and began to run into the parking lot, calling out, according to witness Brandon Maldonado, "Bruce, Bruce, I'm over here."

Two other people reported seeing Corona duck in between cars and Deputy Brian Thompson with K-9 "Pharoah" exited the store in pursuit of Corona. Thompson later said he glanced over at Maldonado, whose direction of gaze told him where Corona appeared to be hiding.

Thompson said that when he apprehended Corona, he found the allegedly stolen merchandise, perfume, on her.

Corona was returned to the store where she was arrested on a petit larceny charge.

A short time later, Thompson was called back outside to check on a car with Florida license plates. Inside the car, additional merchandise was found that might have come from other local stores and Thompson said there will be an investigation into whether those items were also stolen.

The car reportedly belongs to Corona's brother.

The man who was with the car was released. It's not believed that he was involved in, or had any knowledge of, any alleged thefts.

Corona was then transported to Genesee County Jail for processing.

In June 2009, Corona was arrested in Farrall Park and accused of public lewdness and adultery. The adultery charge made the case somewhat of an international sensation for a short time. Later, Corona was accused of trashing the buffet at South Beach and of shoplifting from a local floral shop.

The adultery charge was dropped as part of a plea arrangement and in November 2010 she was placed on one-year probation. In March, in relation to the shoplifting case, she was referred to the Mental Health Court. 

(initial report)

For previous coverage of Corona, click here.

UPDATE 10:07 p.m.: The Sheriff's Office has issued its press release on Suzanne Marie Corona's arrest. Corona allegedly tried to exit the store and when she did, the anti-theft alarm sounded. She then allegedly attempted to flee. She allegedly attempted to steal two pair of sunglasses, a hair band and a necklace, not perfume as we originally reported.

Photo of Corona outside target this afternoon submitted by a reader. Copyright 2011 by the reader. All rights reserved.

'Ms. Corona' suspected of shoplifting at Target

By Billie Owens

Batavia resident Suzanne Corona, 43, is in the security office at Target, being held on suspicion of shoplifting.

Within the past half hour or so, Corona is alleged to have ran from the store, allegedly carrying merchandise some perfume, and yelling "Bruce, Bruce, I'm over here!" before ducking down and supposedly trying to hide among the parked vehicles, according to witness Brandon Maldonado.

After causing a commotion and exiting the store, she was apprehended by Sheriff's Deputy Brian Thompson, who was in the store at the time doing a K-9 demonstration with "Pharoah."

Dispatch was notified that "Ms. Corona" was being detained and an officer sent to take a statement.

Corona's past brushes with local law enforcement include allegations of shopping from a local florist, trashing a lunch buffet and engaging in a sexual encounter at a public park.

(The name of the perfume has not been disclosed.)

UPDATE 10:09 p.m.: It was not perfume as we were originally told, but Corona allegedly attempted to steal two pair of sunglasses, a hair band and a necklace.

Suzanne Corona accused of shoplifting from Batavia florist

By Howard B. Owens

UPDATED 1:31 p.m.

Suzanne Corona, 42, was back in police custody today after allegedly trying to steal a flower arrangement from Batavia Stage Coach Florist & Gifts in the Genesee Country Mall.

Corona is charged with petit larceny.

During her arraignment in Batavia City Court this afternoon, Judge Robert Balbick said Corona is accused of stealing a table-top floral arrangement with a light in it valued at $20.

Corona has been given time to meet with a public defender before entering a plea. She is scheduled to reappear in city court on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Corona was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Outside of the courthouse, Corona said, "What can I say? My life is a mess and I overreact in the wrong direction."

The Batavia resident made international news last summer when she was charged with public lewdness and and adultery for engaging in sexual activity with 29-year-old former Oakfield resident Justin Amend in Farrall Park. 

Corona eventually entered a guilty plea to public lewdness and was placed on probation.

Today, Corona entered the florist shop, according to owner Loretta Delpriore, and had a couple of items in her hand when Delpriore went into a back room for a phone call. When she came out, Corona was gone and so were the flower arrangements, the owner said.

Delpriore called police, identifying Corona by name as the suspect.

"I know who she is," Delpriore said. "I think everybody knows who she is."

Meanwhile, Amend, who admitted to public lewdness, is currently wanted on a bench warrant after reportedly moving to Florida before his sentencing.

Suzanne Corona sentence: One year probation

By Howard B. Owens

Suzanne Corona -- the 41-year-old Batavia woman who admitted to sexual contact with an Oakfield man in Farrall Park over the summer -- was sentenced this afternoon to one year probation by City Court Judge Michael Delplato.

Her attorney, Brian Degnan, asked a conditional discharge -- meaning the charges would be dropped if Corona complied with certain requirements over a six-month period -- but Delplato said he thought the Probation's Department recommendation for probation was best for Corona.

Corona will need to continue in substance-abuse counseling, which she already started voluntarily, and stay out of trouble.

She previously pled guilty to public lewdness, a misdemeanor, and an adultery charge against her was dropped.

Outside of the courtroom, Corona was she was glad to put the embarrassing case behind her.

"I'm glad it's over," Corona said. "It was a long time coming. I'm glad. My family's glad."

Then she told the handful of reporters gathered outside the courthouse, "Hopefully there will be another scandalous behavior in Batavia to keep you all busy."

The reporters laughed and WHAM-13's Sean Carroll said, "One that doesn't involve you, right?"

"No, it won't involve me," Corona said.

Corona told Delplato prior to her sentencing that she's been going to private counseling three times a week and a group session once a week.

One reason Delplato decided upon probation, he said, was because she had a prior arrest in another state and she never went to court on the matter. There is an arrest warrant, he said, for her in that jurisdiction.

"It's my responsibility to fashion a sentence that addresses the needs you have," Delplato said. "That's why I'm sentencing you to a year in probation.

Delplato also ordered Corona not to have any contact with her co-defendant, 29-year-old Justin Amend.

Amend is currently a fugitive from justice. A warrant was issued for his arrest earlier this month after he failed to appear for his sentencing on a public lewdness conviction.

Farrall Park defendent has sentencing on public lewdness charge delayed again

By Howard B. Owens

Justin Amend, the 29-year-old Farrall Park paramour of Suzanne Corona, will wait another week at least to find out if he's going to jail.

When Amend entered a guilty plea to public lewdness, it was on the condition that he wouldn't receive jail time, but City Court Judge Robert Balbick said there's now a problem with that plea arrangement.

The former Oakfield resident is now a Florida resident.

"By moving out of state, you've prevented me from placing you on probation," Balbick said.

The Probation Department recommended Amend be given a conditional discharge -- meaning if he stays out of trouble for six months, the public lewdness conviction would be dismissed.

Balbick said considering the offense to the community, that Amend engaged in sexual conduct in a place where parents and children could see the act, he just can't go along with a conditional discharge.

That leaves Amend two obvious options -- withdraw his plea and go to trial, or let Balbick sentence him with the probability he will be given jail time.

Defense Attorney Tom Williams asked for more time to either research a way to get Florida to accept Amend's probation, or see if there is space available with the Genesee County Jail for a weekend work detail sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl predicted that Florida is unlikely to accept a probation case on a misdemeanor charge.

"States feel that their probation departments are overworked as it is and they do not want to accept misdemeanor cases," Zickl said.

Amend moved to Florida, according to Williams, because he's embarrassed by his crime.

"He's humiliated to be seen walking around Genesee County," Williams said. "For him to walk into Tops and be seen is torture for him. It would be like for me to walk into Tops naked. That may seem over the top, but that's how he feels."

When given his turn to speak, Amend said, "I can guarantee you that you will never see me in court again because this has been a total embarrassment."

Williams described Amend as an upstanding citizen who has never been in trouble except for this case.

In fact, Williams said, Amend has been a key witness in criminal cases, including one where he turned in a sexual predator who was victimizing a younger person. That criminal is now in state prison. The man never would have been caught if Amend hadn't contacted the police, Williams said.

Sign carrying in front of South Beach not in Suzanne Corona's future

By Howard B. Owens

South Beach owner Ken Mistler announced today that he won't require Suzanne Corona to carry a sign in front of the restaurant saying "I stole from South Beach."

"Her sincere apology was restitution enough for me," Mistler said.

Corona, already facing a public lewdness conviction for her part in a sex act at Farrall Park in June, could have been charged with a felony for trashing the South Beach lunch buffet one afternoon last month. To avoid the charge, she signed a contract with Mistler last week admitting her deed and agreeing to carry the sign for four hours.

Mistler said Corona's husband reached out to him through a mutual friend to ask if during the four-hour walk he could be their to protect his wife from public abuse.

"It was at that point that I realized that this affects more than Suzanne," Mistler said. "It affects her whole family. I can't punish her family for something she did."

Reached this afternoon, Corona said she was grateful to Mistler for his decision.

"That is very wonderful of him," Corona said. "I told this to the media before and it got cut out -- he's a very fair man, a nice man and I respect him very much. I can't thank him enough that he's chosen this direction for my family."

After Corona got out of the hospital following an eight-day stay, she immediately came to Mistler ready to sign the contract, Mistler said. He said he figured that was a hard eight days lying in a hospital bed thinking about what she had done and the anticipation of the walk was probably difficult to think about.

He said he didn't feel the need to ask any more of her.

"She never said she wouldn't do the walk," Mistler said.

While Corona is off the hook for the four-hour "walk of shame," Mistler said he is suggesting to her -- only a suggestion -- that she volunteer for four hours with a local agency such as the animal shelter or help with a charity event.

"I've done that before," Corona said. "I've volunteered in soup kitchens. I've volunteered at a hospice. I can certainly do something for him in that regard. I most certainly will."

Suzanne Corona has yet to agree to carry 'I Stole At South Beach' signs

By Howard B. Owens

No charges have been filed yet against Suzanne Corona for allegedly trashing the buffet at South Beach on Sept. 30, and owner Ken Mistler remains ready to drop the charges if she agrees to carry these signs for four hours on East Main Street, Batavia.

Mistler had the signs made up more than a week ago in anticipation of Corona signing a contract admitting she stole from South Beach, but then Corona reportedly became hospitalized and has been unavailable since.

Corona is suspected of walking into South Beach with a purse full of baggies and then trying to fill them up with buffet items before wait staff interfered. When a manager intervened, Corona allegedly began dumping the baggies back on the buffet.

The value of the trashed buffet, plus the lost afternoon business, cost the restaurant more than a $1,000, according to Mistler, which means if Corona doesn't agree to carry the signs she faces at least one felony charge.

Batavia's notorious woman is expected in court Wednesday for sentencing on her public lewdness conviction. As part of a plea deal, an adultery count was dropped. Corona admitted to a sexual act with a man not her husband on a picnic table in Farrall Park in June.

Notorious woman allegedly trashes buffet at South Beach

By Billie Owens

UPDATED: 2:43 p.m.

Shortly before 2 p.m., Batavia police descended upon South Beach restaurant downtown after receiving a call that a patron suspected of attempting to steal food had trashed the lunch buffet.

Suzanne Corona, 41, the woman who made headlines a few months ago for having sexual conduct with a man at a local park, leading to a rare charge of adultery, was allegedly observed filling baggies in her purse with food items from the lunch buffet.

Louie Kingsbury, an employee of South Beach owner Ken Mistler, was summoned to the restaurant and he confronted Corona.

He said at first Corona denied taking anything and started showing him empty pockets in her purse, but then food allegedly fell out of the main compartment.

"At that point, I gave her two choices," Kingsbury said. "Either you can pay extra for the food, or I'm calling the cops. She got unruly, so I said I was calling the cops."

Then, Kingsbury said, Corona allegedly started to dump the baggies full of food back into the buffet, so he had to try to restrain her.

In the tussle, according to Kingsbury, Corona fell over a chair.

Mistler had to have all of the food in the buffet dumped out. Police asked for a retail estimate of the food's value.

Corona reportedly came into the restaurant with another woman and they sat at a booth, but did not order any food before Corona approach the buffet. The other woman is not believed to have been involved.

Officer Ed Mileham said Corona has not yet been arrested, but charges are pending.

Mercy EMS was called to the scene. Corona reportedly complained of back pain. She was seen holding the back of her head and neck. She was transported to UMMC.

Howard Owens contributed to this story.

Adultery charge against Suzanne Corona dropped

By WBTA News

As one reporter phrased it: "She wants to plead guilty, but doesn't want to admit to the crime."

Suzanne Corona did plea guilty to Public Lewdness in Batavia City Court today, and did have the charge of Adultery dropped. But it took an awful lot of work to get to that point.

Corona entered the Genesee County Courts facility early this afternoon, dressed in a pastel green suit and stiletto-heeled sandals. When Judge Michael Del Plato called her name just before 2 o'clock, she walked up to the stand beside her lawyer, Brian Degnan.

(Recorders are not allowed in City Court; quotes hereforth from inside the courtroom are written from recollection and extensive written notes.)

Judge Del Plato asked what the status of the case was. Degnan announced that he'd acquired everything he needed from the prosecution -- and that Suzanne Corona was prepared to enter a plea. Prosecutor Robert Zickl agreed, noting the prosecution's proposal for Corona to plea guilty to Public Lewdness and be sentenced "on a no-jail basis."

Judge Del Plato then asked Corona if she was indeed prepared to enter a plea. "Yes," she said, "and I am doing so with the understanding that the adultery charge will be dropped."

Then came the plea...sort of.

Del Plato asked: "Do you admit that on June 4th, 2010, at approximately 5:15 p.m. in Farrall Park, that you did expose your private or intimate parts in a public place?"

"No, I did not," Corona replied.

Judge Del Plato seemed dumbfounded at this point. Looking from Zickl to Degnan with a slight smile, he wondered aloud: "I thought we had a disposition?"

Zickl said, "Your Honor, Ms. Corona has said that her intimate parts were not exposed in the public view. The prosecution is willing for her to admit to 'having sexual contact with another person,' which could easily be viewed by another as sexual intercourse."

After Degnan whispered something in Corona's ear, Del Plato tried again.

"Do you admit...that you did commit a lewd act with another person?"

"Yes," Corona replied. Del Plato continued, "And do you admit...that you did have sexual contact with another person?"

Corona replied, "No, Your Honor. I was engaged in an inappropriate act."

At this point, all four began talking to and talking over one another. At one point, Corona was heard to say, "I just want to say that I did not expose..."

But Del Plato had heard enough. He ordered Degnan and Corona out of the courtroom to speak with each other.

Three to four minutes later, they returned and sat together in the gallery as Del Plato heard several more cases. Returning to the stand, Degnan attempted to call Corona up beside him. Del Plato wasn't having it.

"No -- no. Mr. Degnan and Mr. Zickl, I want to speak with you first."

After a quick conference, proceedings resumed. Del Plato again asked Corona if she admitted to committing a lewd act with another person in Farrall Park.

"Yes," she replied.

"Great," Del Plato muttered, looking down.

Corona had apparently also asked Degnan to remind the courtroom that she'd remained clothed throughout the entire encounter at Farrall Park -- which he did.

Del Plato instructed Corona to return to City Court at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20 for sentencing, and with that -- save for the sentence -- Corona's legal matter was over. Outside the Genesee County Courthouse, Corona said she was happy to have the adultery charge dropped.

"I believe it's a private matter between husband and wife," she said. "And the government steps in your life in so many different areas...and everyone has a different type of marriage."

But Corona has not ruled out her prior intention: challenging the constitutionality of New York State's charge of Adultery.

"That's something we will discuss, and it's probably going to come up."

Degnan seems less enthusiastic.

"Sure, there's a challenge possible, but we were just concerned about having the adultery charge dismissed. We haven't even started preparing for that matter at this point, and we'll cross that bridge when the time comes."

When asked if she was happy to put it all behind her, it took Corona only one, sighed word to communicate it all: "Yes."

UPDATE: Just spoke to Prosecutor Robert Zickl as he walked past WBTA Studios. He confirmed that Justin Amend was offered a similar plea deal, and accepted it, contrary to what a City Court clerk told WBTA on Tuesday.

Photo: Suzanne Corona and Brian Degnan speak to reporters outside Genesee County Court.

Case delayed for man charged with public lewdness

By Howard B. Owens

Justin Amend, that man allegedly caught with his pants down in Farrall park, appeared in Batavia City Court today only to be told to reappear on Aug. 9.

There is no plea offer in the case yet.

Amend, an Oakfield resident, is charged with public lewdness, a Class B misdemeanor, for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with Suzanne Corona. Corona still faces adultery and public lewdness charges.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Zickl requested an evaluation of Amend by a counselor before he would make a plea offer.

Zickl has not had a chance to review the evaluation report yet, and he was unavailable for a court appearance today.

No decision from attorney on whether to challenge constitutionality of adultery law

By Howard B. Owens

Whether the Suzanne Corona case will lead to a constitutional challenge to New York's adultery law is not a given, according to her new attorney Brian P. Degnan.

After Corona appeared in Judge Michael Delplato's courtroom for the first time today after selecting Degnan to represent her (Degnan is the son-in-law of the original judge on the case, Robert Balbick), Degnan told reporters that he wants to examine a plea offer from the District Attorney's office and decide how to proceed from there.

"We have not reached a deposition in this case and I'm interested in whatever would enable my client to get the best disposition in her best interest at this time," Degnan said when asked whether he would persue a constitutional challenge to the adultery law.

He called the law bizarre and unusual, noting that it has been prosecuted only 13 times in New York since 1970.

Degnan would not discuss the specifics of the plea offer.

Even if the adultery charge were dropped, attorneys have told The Batavian on background that Corona, merely because she has been charged with the crime, could seek judicial review of the statute.

Today, in her second court appearance on the case, Cornona did not enter a plea to the adultery or public lewdness charges.

A hearing was set for Aug. 18, where Corona could either agree to any plea deal still on the table, or Degnan could begin filing pre-trial motions.

In court, Degnan said he may file a motion for the prosecution to produce any additional evidence it may not yet have turned over in the case. Degnan said the main issue is, he doesn't know whether there are recordings available of any 9-1-1 calls.

"I need to have all of the evidence before me so I can advise my client of the best avenue to take," Degnan later told reporters.

Corona, 41, is accused of engaging in a public sex act in Farrall Park in early June with Justin Amend, 29, of Oakfield.

Amend did not appear in court this morning, but his attorney did and said he's seeking a plea offer from the District Attorney's office.

Corona adultery case continued to another day

By Howard B. Owens

Suzanne M. Corona, facing a rare charge of adultery, will not appear in City Court today as scheduled because her case must be heard by a different judge.

Corona has retained local attorney Brian Degnan to handle her case. Degnan is the son-in-law of Judge Robert Balbick, who was scheduled to hear cases for the 1 p.m. calendar today.

The case is being moved to June 30, when Judge Michael DelPlato is on the bench.

Degnan notified City Court of his position in the case by letter.

The 41-year-old Corona is accused, along with Justin Amend, 29, of Oakfield, of engaging in sex on a picnic table in Farrall Park when the park was filled with parents and children.

Both were charged with public lewdness, only Corona faces the additional misdemeanor charge of adultery.

Corona has denied there was actual sex going on, though has admitted to inappropriate behavior.

Her case has been picked up by media across the United States and Britain.

Corona has yet to enter a plea in court.

Friedman: No decision made yet on whether to pursue adultery charge against Suzanne Corona

By Howard B. Owens

It appears that it's not a done deal that the Genesee County District Attorney's Office will pursue an adultery charge against Suzanne M. Corona, who was allegedly caught engaged in sexual conduct in Farrall Park on Friday.

The 41-year-old Corona and her husband of nearly 7 years spoke with reporters yesterday and Joseph Corona said that if he was the supposed victim of the crime, nobody in law enforcement ever consulted with him to see if he wanted adultery charges filed.

"I wish that the charges were dropped so that we could resolve this as a man and wife, more of a private matter," Joe Corona said.

He called District Attorney Lawrence Friedman yesterday morning and asked that the charges be dropped.

"(The wishes of the victim) does come into consideration and I told him that," Friedman said. "But what I also told him is that it's not the only consideration.

"Let's say for the sake of argument," Friedman added, "that he is the victim of that charge, we do take into consideration the victim's feelings, but as in any other case there are other things we look at."

While other people may argue that the case is bigger than just the people involved, he said such philosophical positions don't really factor into whether to prosecute a defendant.

Suzanne Corona has said she plans to challenge the constitutionality of New York's adultery law and she is actively seeking legal representation.

Friedman said he considers the constitutional issue somewhat irrelevant because Corona is charged with two Class B misdemeanors, the least serious crimes in New York. Even if one charge were dismissed or withdrawn, there's the public lewdness charge, which Friedman believes Corona has pretty much admitted to in her public statements.

Asked, however, that if there was a constitutional challenge, wouldn't it require his office to defend the state law? Friedman replied, "If we choose to do so."

"It's not like I would anticipate somebody receiving concurrent sentences if they were convicted," Friedman said.

The DA said no decision has been made on how to handle the case, and when the decision is made, it will be one of the assistant district attorneys in his office who makes the call. Friedman said he's not going to be directly involved in the case.

Friedman has prosecuted an adultery case in Genesee County before, he said. In that case, a witness testified under oath to a long-term, consensual relationship with a married woman, which prompted the woman's husband to ask the DA's office to pursue an adultery charge.

"How could we say no to that?" Friedman said. "Regardless of how anybody feels about the law, it is the law. We do feel a certain obligation to enforce it."

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