Otsego Co. Sex Crimes Case Could Be in Jeopardy After Alleged Victim Passes Away

An Otsego County man remains in jail facing dozens of sexual assault charges.

The prosecution says it’s one of the lengthiest sexual assault complaints ever filed in the county.

We first told you about Raymond Neeley Jr. back in April when he was arrested on 60 counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Police say Neeley began assaulting the victim in 2009 and carried out the alleged assaults over a three-year period.

Neeley was scheduled to appear in court later this week but a new development has the prosecution worried that their case against the defendant could be in jeopardy.

“A week ago, Monday morning I learned that my victim had passed away and it dramatically alters the way I can prosecute this case,” Otsego County Prosecutor Brendan Curran, said.

The alleged victim’s death is not suspicious.

But in cases of sexual assault, victim testimony is critical to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“If this matter was tried, a good deal of my evidence would be based on my victim’s testimony and without a living witness, of course it’s a tragedy for the victim and their family, but it’s also perhaps tragic for my case,” Curran, added.

Curran says he’s working with state police to see how they can pursue the case without the key witness.

“We are going to continue our evaluation a very sober  and careful analysis of all the information we have, determine what we can prove with this witness or that witness as opposed to the victim who is no longer available to us,” he, said.

The prosecution has until July 17 when Neeley is due back in court for a preliminary hearing.

“That’s the deadline I have. Our general goal is to seek justice, I charged Mr. Neeley very aggressively because at the time I was convinced that I could prove each and every charge that I brought. Even though there were very, very many of them, now suddenly the victim is unavailable to me,” Curran, explained.

Neeley maintained his innocence at his arraignment in April.

He remains locked up at the Otsego County Jail and is being held on a $1 million bond.

Criminal Sexual Conduct