Woodbury official faces suit for accusing community member of being alleged rapist

Town resident and retired police officer Rey Hernandez can be heard yelling in protest in the background when Giacomazza refers to him as an alleged rapist following Hernandez's remarks at the podium.

News 12 Staff

Jul 26, 2021, 9:53 PM

Updated 1,054 days ago

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A village official in Orange County is now facing a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit for publicly accusing a community member of being an alleged rapist during a board meeting.
What started out as a typical board meeting with public comment in the Village of Woodbury earlier this month, turned out to be anything but, when Deputy Mayor Andrew Giacomazza took to the microphone during the July 8 meeting broadcasted live on YouTube.
"I can bring up – also the rape allegation! I'm attacking you. We're done," said Giacomazza.
Town resident and retired police officer Rey Hernandez can be heard yelling in protest in the background when Giacomazza refers to him as an alleged rapist following Hernandez's remarks at the podium.
Richard Mahon, Hernandez's attorney, says the resident and local business owner has never been accused of rape.
"I think the overall reaction was shocking. He brought up the allegation of rape which is crazy talk," says Mahon
Hernandez has since filed a $6 million defamation lawsuit against the deputy mayor.
Woodbury Supervisor Frank Palermo said by phone that "Mr. Giacomazza's comments were deplorable, should never have been made and are a detriment to the Woodbury community."
"Every person should be able to speak and exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of reprisal or having to publicly defend and unfortunately that's what happened here," says Mahon.


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