Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that a 40-year-old Far Rockaway man has been convicted at trial of course of sexual conduct against a child. This law was authored by then-Assemblywoman Melinda Katz in 1996, who at that time wanted to make sure pedophiles were held accountable for their crimes. The defendant in this case moved into his girlfriend’s home and soon afterwards began to go into the child’s room at night. The sexual contact occurred between October 2014 through January 2015.

District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant on multiple occasions violated this little girl, who was just 10 years old at the time. A jury weighed all the evidence presented at trial and found the defendant guilty.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Joseph Petty, 40, of Beach 20th Street in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens. On Wednesday, following a nearly 2-week-long trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree. Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Gia Morris, who presided at trial, set sentencing for February 11, 2020. At that time, Petty faces up to 25 years in prison.

District Attorney Katz said, according to trial testimony, in August 2014, Petty moved into his girlfriend’s apartment in Jamaica, Queens. Starting in October of that year, the defendant started sneaking into his girlfriend’s daughter’s bedroom at night. On various occasions for more than 3 months, Petty touched the youngster’s genitals and her chest area with both his hands and at times his mouth. The defendant also had sexual contact with the girl.

Senior Assistant District Attorney George Kanellopoulous, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Kenneth M. Appelbaum, Bureau Chief, Eric C. Rosenbaum and Debra Lynn Pomodore, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Recent Press