STOCKPORT — A Greene County man was taken to the Columbia County Jail after he was charged by state police with rape and stalking in Stockport following a seven-month investigation, state police Troop K Public Information Officer Aaron Hicks said Monday.
Keener A. Mendez, 18, of Coxsackie, was charged with first-degree rape, a class B felony, and fourth-degree stalking, a class A misdemeanor, Hicks said.
State police investigators said they believe there are more victims connected to Mendez, Hicks said.
A person is guilty of first-degree rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion or when the victim is less than 13 years old and the suspect is 18 years old or more, according to New York State Penal Code.
The victim in this case is under 13, Hicks said.
Mendez was arrested Friday after a seven-month investigation that began on July 31 of last year, Hicks said.
The investigation, conducted by the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in conjunction with the Columbia County Child Advocacy Center, determined Mendez sexually assaulted a child, Hicks said.
The investigation lasted seven months because of the thoroughness of the investigation, Hicks said.
“We treat cases like this with utmost seriousness,” Hicks said Monday. “We want to gather as much evidence as possible.”
The stalking charge stems from phone calls, text messages and voice messages Mendez sent to the victim, Hicks said.
Mendez was arraigned Saturday morning in Stockport Town Court before Justice Malcolm Smalley and was taken to the Columbia County Jail, where he was held on $5,000 bail.
Smalley ordered Mendez to appear again in Stockport Town Court on March 1 at 6 p.m.
The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information related to Mendez is asked to call the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Livingston at 845-677-7300.