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Ray Brook man charged with sexual misconduct

RAY BROOK — State Police charged a 20-year-old Ray Brook man with sexual misconduct after he allegedly gave alcohol to a 16-year-old girl and engaged in sexual contact with her.

Police charged Brennan M. Wamsganz-Bimonte with sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors, on June 2 following an investigation of sexual contact with a minor that occurred in the town of North Elba on Jan. 9.

Though the age of consent in New York is 17, this case does not meet the state’s definition of a felony statutory rape charge due to a 4-year-age-gap exception if the minor is older than 15. If Wamsganz-Bimonte was 21 or older at the time of the alleged incident, it could qualify as third-degree statutory rape, which is punishable by up to four years in prison. Sexual misconduct is punishable by a maximum of one year in prison.

Though this arrest took place more than two weeks ago, the State Police did not notify the public of the charges until Wednesday, after the Enterprise asked State Police about it.

This charge did not appear in the State Police’s daily online blotter, like most other charges do, because it was handled by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which does not log all its arrests in the blotter.

State Police are supposed to issue press releases on arrests not in the blotter, but in this case a press release was not issued until Wednesday.

State Police spokesperson Trooper Jennifer Fleishman said this was probably due to an oversight on her part, since June 2 was a busy day due to a large Black Lives Matter protest in Saranac Lake and an investigation into a threat made against protestors.