Teacher Felipe Argueta cleared of inappropriate touching charges

Updated March 20, 2014 9:17 PM By ZACHARY R. DOWDY http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/teacher-felipe-argueta-cleared-of-inappropriate-touching-charges-1.7457236 A former teacher at the Eastport-South Manor Central School District who was accused of inappropriately touching a female student in his high school Spanish class was acquitted by a Suffolk jury Thursday. Felipe Argueta, 38, of Mount Sinai, who was tried on a charge of child endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor, was a free man after a jury deliberated for three hours at the close of the weeklong trial before acting County Court Judge Steven A. Lotto, said Argueta’s attorney, Michael J. Brown of Central Islip. “He’s overjoyed,” Brown said of his client, adding that Argueta was unable to find work as a teacher while the charges were pending. “He’s been waiting three years to be vindicated and he simply wants to return to his passion, which is teaching.” The Suffolk district attorney’s office could not be reached for comment. Argueta was arrested in June 2011 after a student accused him of inappropriately touching her while the two were alone at school, Brown said. The student, who took the stand for the prosecution during the trial, was in Argueta’s Spanish class. She claimed the inappropriate contact occurred in 2010. Long IslandFor more on this story visit News 12 Long Island Argueta was suspended from his position at the school district when the girl reported the allegation to school officials, who conducted an investigation and notified Suffolk police. “The jury listened attentively to the witness testify and came to the same conclusion that we did — her story was pure fabrication,” Brown...

Lawyer: Mom didn’t kill baby; seeks new forensic exam

Updated March 5, 2014 9:22 PM By DARRAN SIMON http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/lawyer-mom-didn-t-kill-baby-seeks-new-forensic-exam-1.7293540 An undocumented live-in housekeeper kept her pregnancy a secret and killed her newborn after giving birth in her employer’s West Islip home, prosecutors said Wednesday at the woman’s arraignment. An attorney for Santos Elena Ruiz Solano, 26, a native of Honduras, disputed the prosecution’s claim the baby was delivered alive during the arraignment in Suffolk County Court. Central Islip lawyer Michael Brown repeated his claim the child was stillborn. He said he would hire an independent medical examiner to determine the cause of death. He entered a not guilty plea for his client. Ruiz Solano was ordered held without bail. She was indicted Feb. 25 on a charge of second-degree murder. Ruiz Solano delivered the baby alone Feb. 16 at her employer’s waterfront home, police said. She was arrested Feb. 20. In an interview with authorities, she claimed she was raped on her journey to enter the country, prosecutors said. In court, Brown said his client was a domestic violence victim in that journey about seven months ago. Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota, declined to comment on the rape allegation, and noted Ruiz Solano’s story about the baby’s death has changed. “Her first story to detectives was that she wasn’t pregnant and did not give birth . . . and she then changed her story and claimed she had delivered the baby on her own but that the baby was born dead,” a Spota news release said. Prosecutors said the alleged rape may have provided a reason to kill the baby. In court, Assistant...

Michael Brown Defends Brett Knight

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