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Jul 03, 2023
Joseph Kess Berated and Violently Attacked Two Women Because of Their Sexual Orientation (SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced that Joseph Kess, 40, of Patchogue, was indicted for assault and criminal mischief as hate crimes for the Mother’s Day attack of a same sex couple at Mascot Dock in Patchogue. “This defendant is alleged to have verbally abused two Suffolk County residents who were peacefully enjoying the beauty of a Long Island sunset on the water, and physically assaulted one of them simply because of her sexual orientation,” said District Attorney Tierney. “Bigotry like this is unacceptable. In my tenure as District Attorney, I have created the new Hate Crimes Unit at my office, which investigates and prosecutes hate crimes, elder abuse, human trafficking, and anti-immigrant crimes. When a defendant’s criminal conduct is motivated by hate, my office will use all available resources to ensure that the alleged perpetrators are held accountable.” According to the police investigation, on May 14, 2023, two young women were at Mascot Dock in Patchogue enjoying the sunset and taking photos together. Kess and another man were allegedly also at the dock and began to make derogatory comments about the women’s sexual orientation. The incident escalated when Kess urinated on their vehicle, threw beer cans at the women, and threw one of the women’s phone and sandals off the dock into the water. 2 Kess then grabbed one of the women and dragged her toward the edge of the dock, attempting to throw her in while telling her that he was going to drown her. The woman desperately tried to keep herself from being thrown into the water while Kess’ accomplice repeatedly punched her in the head until a good Samaritan intervened and pulled the man off her. Both women sustained bruises on their faces and bodies from being attacked. One woman’s fingernail ripped back from her nailbed entirely and subsequently fell off, causing excruciating pain. Onlookers called 911 and Kess fled the scene. Following the investigation, Kess was located and arrested by law enforcement. On June 28, 2023, Kess was arraigned on the indictment before County Court Judge, the Honorable Steven A. Pilewski for the charges of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime, a Class D felony; Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime, a Class E felony, and Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, a Class A misdemeanor. Judge Pilewski ordered Kess held on $ 75,000 cash, $ 150,000 bond or $ 750,000 partially secured bond. Kess is due back in court on July 24, 2023, and he is being represented by Scott Zerner, Esq. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fedun of H.E.A.T. Unit, with investigative assistance from Detective James Mosby of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit.

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