Ellenville man convicted on rape charge; first trial held in Ulster since pandemic began

On Tuesday, April 13, Andrew Sturgill, 32, of 133 Center Street, Ellenville, was convicted in Ulster County Court of first-degree rape, second-degree burglary, and first-degree sexual abuse.

The trial began Monday, April 5. A jury of eight men and four women reached its verdict convicting Sturgill of all counts in the indictment following a day of deliberations. Sturgill was accused of unlawfully entering the victims’ home in the village of Ellenville on September 8, 2019, and having sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated. The defendant was indicted by an Ulster County grand jury on November 1, 2019.

Sentencing has been scheduled for June 24, at which time the defendant faces up to 25 years in state prison with up to 20 years of post-release supervision. He will be required to register under the New York State Sexual Offender Registration Act for life.

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The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy D. Lawson with Assistant District Attorney Luba Reznikova. The defendant was represented by Edward Bruno, Esq. The case was tried before acting County Court Judge Honorable James R. Farrell.

The investigation was handled by members of the Village of Ellenville Police Department and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the New York State Police Crime Lab and the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

This is the first jury trial conducted in the Ulster County Court since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  District Attorney David J. Clegg thanked jurors for participating. “The District Attorney’s Office greatly appreciates both the jurors who served and all prospective jurors who were willing to serve,” said Clegg. “Defendants entitled to a trial by jury cannot exercise those rights without citizens willing to perform jury service. It is a relief that with increased knowledge about COVID 19, we are able to identify and take necessary safety precautions which allow some critical functions of the criminal justice system to slowly resume.”