GENEVA — The Geneva police officer accused of choking a woman last month will return to court in two weeks.
During a brief appearance in City Court Monday morning, Jack Montesanto was formally arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of criminal obstruction of breathing. Judge Tim Buckley told Montesanto and his attorney, Laura Vanderbrook, to be back in court Aug. 19 for more proceedings in the case.
Montesanto, 40, was arrested last Wednesday following an investigation by the Ontario County sheriff’s office into an incident that allegedly occurred about midnight July 23. Montesanto and at least one other GPD officer responded to a Main Street apartment building for a noise complaint against the woman, who was charged with a noise violation and disorderly conduct, also a violation. The woman was taken to the Public Safety Building for booking.
According to the criminal complaint against Montesanto, which was issued by the sheriff’s office, Montesanto is accused of choking the woman while she was being booked, causing her to lose consciousness temporarily. Geneva Police Chief Mike Passalacqua said the woman did not seek medical attention at the time.
Passalacqua said he learned of the alleged incident two days later and suspended Montesanto with pay following an internal investigation. He asked the sheriff’s office to conduct the criminal investigation.
Following his arrest last week, Montesanto was arraigned at the Ontario County Correctional Facility and pleaded not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance.
Vanderbrook continued the not-guilty plea on Montesanto’s behalf Monday.
Ontario County First Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride will be prosecuting the case.