Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that a 40-year-old Far Rockaway man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted at trial for course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree. This law was authored by then-Assemblywoman Melinda Katz in 1996, who wanted to make sure pedophiles were held accountable for crimes committed against children. 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 and January 2015.

District Attorney Katz said, “The guilty verdict handed down by the jury last month held this defendant responsible for violating this little girl, who was touched inappropriately by this defendant on multiple occasions. The child was just 10 years old when the abuse began. Today’s sentencing punishes the defendant for his criminal actions.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Joseph Petty, 40, of Beach 20th Street in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens. Last month, Petty was convicted of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Gia Morris, who imposed today’s determinate sentence of 25 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years’ post release supervision. Petty will also be required to register as a sex offender.
District Attorney Katz said, according to trial testimony, in August of 2014, Petty moved into his girlfriend’s apartment in Jamaica, Queens. In October of that same year, the defendant began to sneak 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 and 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 Eric C. Rosenbaum, Bureau Chief, and Debra Lynn Pomodore, Deputy Bureau Chief, 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.