Fort Plain man’s appeal denied in sex abuse case

FONDA – A Fort Plain man who was convicted in April 2011 on four counts related to sexual abuse of a boy younger than 17 was denied an appeal Thursday in the state of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division.

In 2011, a Montgomery County Court jury deliberated for several hours before convicting Jay Lapi on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

According to court documents, Lapi had two sexual encounters with the boy on two consecutive days over a weekend in July 2009. He engaged in anal sexual conduct with a four-year-old relative, court documents said.

Lapi provided two statements to the police, the court document said, in the first statement he denied intentional contact but in a second statement he admitted to the alleged conduct and offered an explanation that he had “low self-esteem,” “no luck with women” and “no sexual relations with women in three years.”

Court documents said Lapi claimed the victim’s testimony was not sufficiently detailed is unavailing because the proof “need not establish guilt or every detail of the crime or confession.”

The court decided it was “satisfied that the verdict was in accord with the weight of the evidence.”

The court also rejected the defendant’s contention that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because he didn’t show that counsel failed to provide meaningful representation, the court document said.

“We discern no single, nor cumulative, error sufficient to deprive defendant of his right to the effective assistance of counsel,” the court document said.

It also said the court is satisfied that Lapi received meaningful representation and his claims are found to be without merit.