CARMEL - A Brooklyn man who drove to Henry Wells Middle School in Southeast to pick up a 14-year-old girl, with whom he later had sex, has been sentenced to 2 1/2 to five years in state prison.
Corey Stewart, 31, was sentenced yesterday by Judge James Reitz after pleading guilty to a felony count of second-degree criminal sexual act. He was sentenced as predicate felony offender due to a previous drug conviction in Brooklyn for which he served two years in state prison.
Stewart was arrested on March 30, 2007, two days after he drove to the school on Route 312 to pick up the girl after her bus had dropped her off there. He then drove her to a location in Carmel, where they engaged in consensual sex.
Stewart first went to the girl's house in Southeast, knowing that her father, a retired New York City police detective, was not home, before following her bus to school. He was arrested by sheriff's investigators.
"The people of Putnam County don't appreciate this and don't accept it," Assistant District Attorney Mary Jane MacCrae said of Stewart's actions. "It repulses me what he did."
The victim's father, a retired New York City police detective, was allowed to address the court prior to sentencing.
"I do feel like a total failure that I was unable to protect my daughter . . . This ... came to my house when he knew I was away on business and followed the school bus - to a middle school, not a high school," he said. The Journal News/LoHud.com is withholding the father's name to protect the victim's privacy.
Defense attorney Howard H. Weiswasser of Manhattan said that Stewart took the plea so that the girl would not have to testify and that Stewart thought she was of legal age.
"Sometimes we don't think properly," he said.
For his part, Steward apologized for the pain he caused to his victim and her family.
"It was a stupid mistake on my part," he said.
Read more about this story tomorrow in The Journal News and on LoHud.com.
Man, 31, faces prison for having sex with Putnam girl, 14 lohud.com The Journal News