Cerrie case moved

The legal case involving Fredonia Village Trustee Joseph Cerrie is officially being sent to the town of Stockton’s courthouse.

Chief Clerk Kathleen Krauza of the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville confirmed to the OBSERVER on Tuesday that Judge John Ward handed the case to Stockton on Monday.

The case was sent to Mayville to be handed out after Fredonia Village Justice David Prince recused himself and the rest of his court from the matter in August, citing “provisions in the law.” Prince also pointed out that Cerrie is part of a board that dictates wages in the village court.

Cerrie was charged with forcible touching by the Fredonia Police Department in July. In a press release, police alleged he touched a 28-year-old woman’s breasts during his shift at a local bar. The woman’s name was not released.

The OBSERVER contacted Stockton Town Justice Otis Barber to see if a date has been set for the case to be heard on, but Barber said he has yet to receive paperwork regarding the matter.

“I had heard the case was coming to Stockton, but I can’t do anything until I’m given the necessary paperwork,” he said. “The normal time for a calendar call, if he has an attorney, would be Oct. 21 at 5 p.m., when a notice to appear would be handed out. But again, I can’t do anything yet without the paperwork.”

Krauza said because the charge against Cerrie is considered a misdemeanor, it could not be heard at the county court level. The only crimes heard at that level are felonies.

In a similar manner to Prince, Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley filed a special prosecutor’s application for the case in July, thus removing himself from the potential pool of prosecutors. Foley said himself handling the case would not be ideal since he knows Cerrie personally.

Cerrie has served as village trustee for around 10 and a half years and is about two and a half years into his third term.

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