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DA offers plea deal in Westmoreland sex assault case

Investigators believe a December house party in Westmoreland set off a chain of events that ended with sexual misconduct charges against five boys between the ages of 16 and 20. Months later, the oldest suspect is considering a plea deal with the Oneida County DA's Office.
Westmoreland (WSYR-TV) -- Investigators believe a December house party in Westmoreland set off a chain of events that ended with sexual misconduct charges against five boys between the ages of 16 and 20.

Months later, the oldest, Sean O'Brien is considering a deal with the Oneida County District Attorney's Office, offered during a court appearance on Tuesday. After hours of waiting for an update, the accuser's parents left Kirkland Town Court with mixed emotions.

"This has traumatized her and I don't want see her to have to be up on a stand and being questioned," said Tammy Townsend. "I don't want her to have to relive it. She lives enough of it already. I don't want to see her have to go through that.”

The teenaged girl is staying with friends in a different county, to avoid seeing the suspects who've been released. Her parents have tried to attend court appearances on her behalf.

"The last court date, they were yelling vulgar things at me about my daughter. They were saying, 'What do you think, we're going to go to jail?' So, they are not taking this serious enough,” Townsend continued.

The small town case has had its share of complications. To prevent any conflicts, judges in Westmoreland recused themselves and proceedings were transferred to the Kirkland Town Court.

O’Brien’s attorney has not commented on the case. He's the only suspect old enough to have the details in court made public. The terms of the D.A.'s proposed deal aren't clear. But, the accuser's family wants more than prosecution.

"If they could even give a public apology to my child and really mean it and have some remorse -- that right there, I think, would be some justice for her and her honor,” said Townsend.

In February, all five suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. O'Brien returns to court in three weeks. He's charged with Sexual Misconduct and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

Tina Williams, 36, the mother of one suspect, was also expected in court on Tuesday. Investigators say the alleged assault happened in her home and she’s accused of giving the teens alcohol. Her case was adjourned for two weeks.
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