Judge denies requests to release Albion men accused of child abuse

Bail remains at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond in both cases

TOWN OF WILLIAMSTOWN (WSYR-TV) -  

Whaley is accused of abusing a 10-year old girl last month, near a home in the Town of Albion.

Investigators say Bubis injured a three-year old boy from the same home. 

They appeared in Williamstown because the judge in Albion wasn't available on the day of the arrest. Both attorneys agreed Wednesday night to move the cases to Oswego County Court. 

A third suspect, 18-year-old Brandy Shaver, did not show up in court because her attorney had already agreed to waive the appearance.

She's accused of tagging along with Whaley when investigators say the female victim was taken to Happy Valley Game Management Park and forced to run with weighted bags and backpacks as a punishment.

During Whaley's court appearance, attorney Salvatore Lanza began to set the stage for his defense strategy.

"He was in that interrogation room for hours. He should have asked for an attorney. He has a third grade reading level. I don't know what he understood. He understood bits and pieces and parts of it," Lanza said outside the courtroom.

In a statement to investigators during questioning, Whaley is quoted as saying: "I had (her) get out of the car and she put a backpack on her back, one on her front and one in each hand. I had her walk in front of the car with the headlights on because it was dark out."

Asked if his client disputes his earlier statements, Lanza says it appears the girl was told to carry items when she was taken to the park.

"She wasn't training for Navy SEALS. Apparently there was a bag of clothing that is a form of discipline that she had to carry as weight. It was clothing. It wasn't rocks. It wasn't barbells and weights or pipes and anything like that," Lanza now says.

Whaley's original statement to investigators goes on: "(She) was running in front of the car in Happy Valley, I bumped her with the car when she stopped running. I think I bumped her 3 times and knocked her over."

His attorney now says Whaley doesn't remember that happening.

Investigators also quoted the suspect as saying: "She put the rope around her waist and I tied it to the bumper of the car."

Lanza believes some of the statements are true, but disputes the details including claims that the girl was forced to walk several miles overnight.

"There was a rope tied around her waist. My client said that there was no rope tied around the bumper. He was holding onto the rope with his hand," Lanza says. "They walked for a short period of time, maybe less than a mile and my client drove with one hand and had the rope in the other hand."

He also questions whether Whaley's actions rise to level of a felony assault charge. He says he still hasn't seen medical files.

"They disciplined a child. Disciplining a child out here, in this part of the county alright, is a little bit different than disciplining a child in Fayetteville or Skaneateles," Lanza adds. "In those parts you might have somebody disciplining a child by removing their iPad or their computer rights. Here it's a little bit different and they chose to discipline the child. She had made some statements. She was acting out and they took her for a walk to settle her down."  

It was a quiet appearance for Gary Bubis Jr. who is accused of burning a toddler's hand in hot water, in the same home where the female victim lived. 

"I think we have to be proactive and face what's happening here and move it along," said Bubis' defense attorney Joseph Pagano. "I will continue to discuss options with him and his family."

Those options depend on District Attorney Greg Oakes' next move after interviewing the children.

"I spoke with them for several hours down at the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. I really can't go into details to what they told us and what they disclosed. But, I can say it is disturbing and it is consistent with what they've told police so far," Oakes says.

Based on statements from the children during that meeting, the D.A. now says more charges may be filed, but didn't specify who would be facing them. He has 45 days to present the case to a Grand Jury.

Lanza wants to keep the door open for a pre-trial conference. In that stage, plea deals could be considered to avoid a trial. 

"From our point of view, if we can save the kids the trauma of going to testify before a Grand Jury and having to relive this and be retraumatized, that's always one of the things we look at," Oakes adds.

A fourth suspect, 34-year-old Lesliann Raeder is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was not scheduled for a court appearance on Wednesday.


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