LOWVILLE — Michael J. Daskiewich, Port Leyden, was found guilty of all eight counts against him by a jury in Lewis County Court with Judge Daniel R. King presiding.
Daskiewich was facing multiple felony counts in connection with allegations he had given alcohol to two minors and had sexual contact with a minor under 17 years old in October 2018.
The jury of 10 men and two women deliberated for about 75 minutes before handing down a verdict.
Daskiewich faced straight ahead as the jury’s foreman announced the guilty verdict for each charge against him: two counts of first-degree criminal sex act, two counts of third-degree criminal sex act, one count of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of unlawfully dealing with a child.
He faced straight ahead, still, while County Court Clerk Deborah Earle confirmed each juror’s verdict on each count individually.
Attorney Kevin J. Dwyer requested Daskiewich be allowed to remain free, with an ankle monitor, because he has ties to the community, posted a large bond and showed up consistently throughout the 10 months of proceedings. But Judge King said he would be taken to jail to wait for his sentencing.
Judge King said because Daskiewich, 58, could be sentenced to up to 50 years in state prison if potential consecutive sentences are considered, it was enough to pose a flight risk.
In his closing argument, prosecutor Caleb J. Petzoldt reminded jurors about the victim’s bearing when he testified and how he did not leave out embarrassing or incriminating details. He said the victim had nothing to gain by falsely accusing Daskiewich.
Mr. Petzoldt asked the jurors to consider the expert testimony of Sura Page, a clinical social worker and therapist, who testified that fight, flight or freeze are the body’s natural reactions to trauma, which is what, Mr. Petzoldt said, happened to the victim on the night of Oct. 20 into Oct. 21 last year.
The recording of a phone call the victim made to Daskiewich under the guidance of State Police Investigator Donald Moore was played phrase by phrase by Mr. Petzoldt during the closing argumnents while he called into question Daskiewich’s reactions.
He said for a 57-year-old man who was being told by a 15-year-old boy in graphic detail a sexual attack, Daskiewich’s reactions, which never included a denial but rather alternated between concern, proclaiming the call was a set-up and a nervous elation that the boy was propositioning him, just wasn’t “logical.”
Mr. Dwyer focused his case and closing remarks on creating reasonable doubt by pointing out that the victim’s claimed level of intoxication seemed to change with whatever was convenient to the story and outlining a lack of evidence to support the victims’ testimony, for example a rape kit or physical evidence.
Daskiewich could be sentenced to between five and 50 years at sentencing on Nov. 15.