A 69-year-old Springs man, Cesar Augusto Diaz-Illescas, is demanding his right to have his day in court to clear his name of the felony sexual abuse charge he is facing after being arrested May 13 by the East Hampton Town Police.
“He maintains his innocence. He is adamant,” his attorney, Melissa Aguanno of Edward Burke Jr. & Associates, said.
Diaz-Illescas was arrested on the morning of May 13 on a charge of course of sexual conduct with a child, a felony, along with a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at $50,000, and he had been held in county jail since then. On May 30, he was brought back to East Hampton Town Justice Court to allow his attorney to confer with the court and the DA’s office.
Aguanno had previously waived his right to be released if not indicted. She withdrew that waiver May 30. The DA’s office announced then that it would not immediately be presenting the case to a grand jury, meaning Diaz-Illescas could no longer be held on the felony charge. East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky set bail on the misdemeanor charge at $100. This was done in case Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took custody of Diaz-Illescas at county jail.
His attorney said the DA had offered a deal of dropping the felony charge in return for a guilty plea on the misdemeanor, with additional time to be served. Such a plea would have meant almost certain deportation. But, Aguanno said, deportation is no longer the issue for Diaz-Illescas, who turned the offer down, without hesitation. Even if it means deportation, Diaz-Illescas wants his name cleared from what he says are baseless charges, according to Aguanno.
His daughter was seated in the courtroom. She cried throughout the session. Bail was later posted and Diaz-Illescas was released.
Aguanno said her client has never been in trouble with the law. His physical condition has appeared to have deteriorated noticeably since he was first taken into custody. He was walking with a noticeable limp when he was brought into court by Suffolk County deputy sheriffs.