Potsdam sex abuse trial to begin Aug. 29

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CANTON — The trial of a Potsdam man accused of having sex with a physically helpless male will begin Aug. 29 after the defendant rejected a plea offer from the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s office.

John C. Proetta, 30, of 15 Bay St., told County Court Judge Derek P. Champagne on Thursday afternoon that he was not willing to accept the plea offer of two years in state prison with five years’ post-release supervision by pleading guilty to a charge of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D felony. If found guilty in a jury trial, Proetta faces a prison sentence of two to seven years with three to 10 years’ post-release supervision. He is represented by Potsdam attorney David A. Haggard.

According to a grand jury indictment, it is alleged Proetta engaged in sexual intercourse in or about the early morning hours of Sept. 10 in or around the village of Potsdam. The indictment stated the alleged act occurred while the alleged victim was physically helpless.

Proetta entered a not guilty plea in March to an indictment charging him with first-degree criminal sexual act.

Preliminary action in the trial is expected to get underway at 8:15 a.m. Aug. 29.

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