GENEVA — The city police officer accused of choking a woman earlier this year has a new attorney. As a result, his next court appearance won’t happen until the week of Thanksgiving.
Jon Getz, the lawyer now representing Jack Montesanto, asked for a pre-plea investigation during a brief proceeding Monday in City Court. Judge Jackie Sisson Sherry, a Canandaigua City Court presiding over the case, scheduled the next appearance for Nov. 25.
Montesanto, 40, faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested July 31 following an investigation by the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office into an alleged incident during the early-morning hours of July 23.
Montesanto and at least one other city police officer responded to a Main Street apartment building for a noise complaint. The woman, who was charged with a noise violation and disorderly conduct, was taken to the Public Safety Building for booking. Montesanto is accused of choking her while she was being booked, causing her to lose consciousness temporarily.
Geneva Police Chief Mike Passalacqua learned of the alleged incident two days later and suspended Montesanto with pay following an internal investigation. Passalacqua asked the sheriff’s office to conduct the criminal probe.
Montesanto was placed on unpaid suspension at a later date. He has been free on his own recognizance since he was charged.
Although Ontario County First Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride is prosecuting the case, Assistant DA Leslie Cohen Hickey filled in for MacBride during Monday’s court appearance.
Montesanto was being represented by attorney Laura Vanderbrook of the Rochester-based Vahey Getz law firm. Getz is a partner with the firm.