Grand jury charges 19 felonies

NORWICH – The Chenango County grand jury met last week and handed up several criminal indictments.

At the proceedings, the District Attorney’s Office presents evidence against those it wished to prosecute and the jury decides if there is enough reasonable cause to charge a person.

Only felony level crimes appear before the grand jury and the cases are heard by the County or Supreme Court Judge. A total of 19 felonies and a handful of lesser offenses were filed against eight defendants, many of them related to the abuse of alcohol.

• James A. Vitarius, 62, was indicted Wednesday on seven felony sex crimes, including four counts of second degree criminal sexual act (D felonies), three counts of third degree criminal sexual act (E felonies) and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. The charges concern an incident that took place about eight years ago in December of 2000 and the spring of 2001 in which Vitarius allegedly had sexual relations with a girl under the age of 15.

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