UPDATE: Brindisi staffer formally charged with patronizing underage prostitute

Just flagging the latest development on this story in NY-22.

News Channel 2
Gary Liberatore
May 20, 2019

UTICA, N.Y. — Congressman Anthony Brindisi’s former staffer faced a judged Monday morning — John Stemen, 57, was officially charged with patronizing a prostitute.

He pleaded not guilty to one count of patronizing a prostitute during his arraignment in Utica City Court Monday morning.

Prosecutors say the alleged prostitute in the case is only 17 years old, and that Stemen set up a meeting with her online.

They asked that a recorded conversation between a state police investigator and Stemen be allowed in court.

NewsChannel 2’s Gary Liberatore spoke with Stemen’s attorney after Monday’s arraignment where no bail was set and Stemen was released.

“At this point we’re maintaining his innocence completely. We need to see what the paperwork shows in more detail we need to see what if any other discovery materials there are from the district attorney’s office. As you heard there’s obviously a disc of some sort of audio recording interview by investigator Moore and my client,” said Nicholas Passalacqua, his attorney.

Utica City Court Judge Ralph Eannace conducted the arraignment Monday morning, but he recused himself from future proceedings because he says knows John Stemen from him being in local politics for many years.

A new judge will be assigned within the next two days and that is when a new court date will be set.

Stemen was terminated from his position with Brindisi’s office immediately following his arrest earlier this month.

Read more on this story at WKTV.com