Henry Reilly, the 23-year-old Saugerties man charged with the federal crime of making a terroristic threat March 1, pled guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an incident in Woodstock Town Court Thursday afternoon, March 8. The court action, before new town justice Jason Lesko, resulted in Reilly’s being released from the Ulster County Jail, where he’d been held for the previous seven nights in lieu of $50,000 bail. The Ulster County District Attorney recommended he be sentenced to probation as part of a plea deal.
Reilly was arrested in the early morning of March 1 after he posted a statement that insinuated he would “shoot the school” following an online rant, which was reported by Onteora School District parents to Woodstock Police, who then contacted state police and the Ulster County sheriff’s department, who in turn contacted Onteora’s resource officer. Onteora superintendent Victoria McLaren put out a statement about the incident before the start of school on March 1, after hearing from her district’s resource officer, having decided there was no threat of violence with Reilly under arrest. Nevertheless, a beefed-up police presence was on hand throughout the day on March 1.
Following this past Thursday’s court date, where the judge was reported to have asked Reilly whether he understood the seriousness of his statement, the young man posted an apology to the community on his Facebook page, which was also sent to us.
“I wanted to communicate to the public that I am sorry for instilling any amount of fear,” Reilly later said in a message left on this reporter’s phone. “I truly regret making the comments and they’re inexcusable and I never intended any violence upon anybody it was just a poor sense of humor and a lack of good judgment on my part.”
Reilly’s next court appearance will be on March 21.