Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio left a New York court in handcuffs after she refused to take a plea deal offered by a Canandaigua City Court Judge that would have kept her out of jail while her case is prosecuted.
Judge Stephen Aronson offered Astacio a chance to plead guilty to violating her previous sentence for drunken driving, for which she would spend 45 days in jail and six months on an ankle monitor, as well as two years of probation. She was taken into custody until a hearing Thursday when she refused the offer, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Astacio had missed a court appearance last Tuesday, which led the judge to issue a bench warrant. She told her lawyer she missed the appearance because she was in Thailand living in a temple with monks in the mountains since May 3, the RD&C reported.
TWC News in Rochester reported that Astacio also had met with her boss, Judge Craig Doran, on Monday, because he was concerned she was abandoning her public office by leaving the country without notifying the court and refusing to make herself available for random urine tests.
Astachio’s lawyer said her client had planned to be in Thailand until August, the RD&C reported.
“You are doing everything to show you don’t care what happens to your public trust. ... You are self-sabotaging any chance you have to return to the bench,” Aronson told Astacio, the newspaper said.
Astacio was commanded to show up to the courthouse each day court was in session to do research and other nonjudicial tasks. She was barred from serving on the bench but still receives her salary.
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