Abraham J. Shorey, 23, the man the Ithaca Police Department has identified as the “Collegetown Creeper,” pleaded not guilty to criminal trespass Friday.
City Judge Judith Rossiter granted a 30-day stay in the case as the prosecution said it is working to press felony charges before a grand jury. They did not indicate any specifics about what the felony charges would be.
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Bonavia represented the prosecution Friday, and William Furniss of Furniss Law Offices served as Shorey’s defense.
Rossiter denied requests by the defense to lower Shorey’s bail from $5,000, which he has not met, and to place a gag order on the court and IPD, which Furniss said has made the area “extremely prejudicial” in regards to the case.
In the first request, Furniss said that Shorey had a fiancee and six kids, including an infant, as well as a job of which the status remained uncertain. Shorey worked at a Collegetown restaurant.
Rossiter cited having a “significant problem getting Mr. Shorey to appear in this court.”
She also said that Shorey had failed to perform court-ordered community service following a March 24 guilty plea for possession of marijuana.
In the second instance, Rossiter said that a gag order was highly unusual and that she had no legal basis for placing one on the IPD.
Furniss also protested the 30-day stay, saying that it was hard to respond to a complaint that has not been issued. The prosecution only acknowledged that it was connected to the Oct. 24 trespassing charge that Shorey currently faces.
Shorey was quiet during the brief hearing, speaking occasionally to his attorney and nodding during Rossiter’s comments.
During the hearing, Rossiter also said that Shorey had received two bench warrants from the State of California in 2004 and appeared in Ithaca City Court for a suspended driver’s license.
Criminal trespassing, the only current charge against Shorey, carries the possibility of a fine and a maximum of a year in jail. Bonavia stated that a felony conviction would carry mandatory state time.
On Thursday, Police Chief Lauren Signer said that her department was “confident that [Shorey] is the person that is publicly referred to as the ‘Collegetown Creeper.'”
Over 20 intrusions have been linked to the Creeper, who has entered females’ rooms in the early hours of the morning for the past 13 months. Veronica Vazquez ’96 said that she was able to positively identify the man from a police photo lineup. The IPD said that Shorey had been a “person of interest” for some time and had an “ongoing relationship” with the department.
Shorey is scheduled to next appear in court on Dec. 3.
Archived article by Michael Morisy
Sun Senior Writer