Fourth man charged with abusing minors: More victims out there?

EH Man Charged With Sexual Abuse




Town police say there may be more young victims of Antonio Zambrano and encourage residents to come forward. Independent/T. E. McMorrow

For the fourth time in the past two weeks, a South Fork man has been charged with sexually abusing children.

For the latest man accused, Antonio Zambrano, 38, of East Hampton, it is the second time he has been charged with sexually abusing a minor in the past two months, though the new charges are far more significant than his previous arrest. He was indicted by a grand jury on Friday, April 19, and was remanded without bail, awaiting his arraignment in state court in Central Islip April 25.

When Zambrano was arrested on March 18, he was accused of touching the breasts of a girl in her mid-teens, resulting in a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse in the third degree, plus a second misdemeanor, endangering the welfare of a child. He was released at that time after a relative posted $1000 bail.

After that arrest, however, police were contacted about three more alleged incidents in which Zambrano was accused of molesting a young boy. Zambrano was said to have sexually abused the child twice this year, as well as once last year. This time, the nature of the alleged abuse called for a felony charge, “course of sexual conduct in the second degree.” Zambrano is also charged with three more misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Zambrano was questioned by detectives, and placed under arrest April 15. He is alleged to have confessed to police, saying, “I don’t understand why I did this. I never told anyone before.”

Police allege that there may be more young victims of Zambrano. They ask that anyone with information about any incidents of sexual abuse contact detectives at 631-537-7575. All calls will be kept confidential.

Zambrano was initially arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court April 16 when bail was set at $50,000. No one came forward to post it, and Zambrano was taken to county jail. The allegations were presented to a grand jury, which handed down an indictment April 19. Zambrano was remanded without the right to bail. A new bail amount will be set in the coming days, when the indictment is unsealed, and he is arraigned again, April 25, this time in county court. He is being held in the Riverside county jail.

Another man South Fork man indicted recently on charges of sexually abusing boys was Robert Weis, 55, of Hampton Bays. Weis, a Suffolk County correction officer, had been arrested by Southampton Town police on April 3, charged with sexually abusing an adopted son some years ago.

At the time of Weis’s arrest, Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki asked for the public’s assistance, saying police believed that there could be more victims of Weis’s alleged predatory behavior. Another victim did, indeed, come forward, according to the district attorney’s office. Weis was indicted, and then arraigned before Justice Karen Wilutis in Central Islip April 17. When the grand jury indictment was unsealed, it contained eight felony charges, four of which specifically accused Weis of sexually assaulting boys under the age of 13.

Wilutis set bail at $5 million, with a $15 million bond alternative. Weis is being held in an undisclosed facility in either Westchester County or Rikers Island in New York City, for his own protection.

One man facing serious sexual assault charges, including three counts of rape in the first degree, has not been indicted, and, after spending a couple of weeks behind bars, was released when his family posted $80,000 cash bond. Bryan Ordonez-Albarracin, 23, of Springs, was said to have sexually abused two girls for several years. As with all the other cases, Ordonez-Albarracin was acquainted with the victims. As grand jury proceedings are in secret, the reason for the lack of an indictment is not known.

However, after bond was posted, Ordonez-Albarracin apparently didn’t get far from the county jail. Waiting for him, reportedly, were agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE had not confirmed as of Monday morning, but Ordonez-Albarracin appears to be In ICE custody.

The fourth man accused recently remains behind bars, though unindicted. Juan Bacuilima, 56, had just moved from Sag Harbor to Springs when he was arrested by East Hampton Town police, accused of sexually touching a young girl. Police said they were “contacted by school officials in January 2019, when the child disclosed the abuse to a teacher after seeing an educational video on when to report touching to an adult.”

Luis Pagan, who took over Bacuilima’s defense recently from the Legal Aid Society, has waived his client’s right to be released if not indicted, at least for the time being. Such a move allows the prosecution and the defense attorney to negotiate toward a plea deal.

t.e@indyeastend.com