Purling man sentenced in rape

A Greene County man has been sentenced for the rape of a woman at the Wenton Motel in Saugerties in 2020. Bill Williams/Columbia-Greene Media

KINGSTON — A Greene County man who pleaded guilty to raping a woman in Saugerties last August was sentenced on Thursday in Ulster County Court.

Austin T. Hollister, 22, of Purling will serve 12 years in state prison to be followed by another 10 years of supervision, Ulster County District Attorney David J. Clegg said.

Hollister admitted in June to forcibly raping a 66-year-old woman at the Wenton Motel in Saugerties.

Hollister was visiting his father at the motel when he committed the rape, Clegg said.

At about 3:04 a.m. on Aug. 16, 2020, Saugerties police responded to the Wenton Motel at 3127 Route 9W after receiving a call that a woman was yelling for help at that location.

The victim fought Hollister and neighbors at the motel who heard the woman’s calls for help, broke into the room, and detained the naked suspect until police arrived, Clegg said.

The woman was taken to Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley for treatment and forensic examination by Nurse Jenifer Nerone, Ulster County sexual assault nurse examiner, Clegg said.

A few weeks after the incident, an Ulster County grand jury indicted Hollister for the rape and other related offenses. At the time of Hollister’s arraignment, in Ulster County Court, Judge Bryan Rounds granted the request by the District Attorney’s Office to send Hollister to the Ulster County Jail pending trial.

Hollister has remained in jail since then, Clegg said.

When Hollister was sentenced, Rounds observed that this offense appears to have been committed during a period of use and abuse of substances in Hollister’s life, but the judge commented that the use or abuse of drugs and alcohol does not make people do something that is not within them to do.

Rounds encouraged Hollister to identify and deal with what it is within him that caused him to commit such a serious violation of another person, Clegg said.

Clegg agreed with the court and added that “abuse of alcohol and substances is a very serious problem for many, but it is never a legitimate or acceptable explanation for the horrible violation and sexual assault of anyone.”

The victim has expressed her gratitude for the manner and sensitivity of the police investigation and judicial process, and the dignity of her treatment and examination by the nurse examiner at such a personal and sensitive moment of trauma in her life.

The woman is doing well, spending time with her family and enjoying her grandchildren, Clegg said.

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