Indictment

The courtroom at the indictment of the alleged Harold Handy assault case. Lance Wheeler/For Columbia-Greene Media

HUDSON — A grand jury indicted four people Wednesday in connection with the July 5 assault case of Harold Handy III at the Kinderhook home of a local gym owner and a sheriff’s deputy.

Alex Rosenstrach, 37, of Kinderhook and the owner of Clublife Health Fitness gym, was charged with one count each of second-degree gang assault, a class C felony; second-degree assault, a class D felony; three counts of third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor; and one count each of first-degree unlawful imprisonment, a class E felony; third-degree coercion, a class A misdemeanor; and second-degree reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

Rosentrach’s wife, Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Kelly Rosenstrach, 32, of Kinderhook, was charged with one count each of second-degree gang assault, a class C felony; third-degree coercion, a class A misdemeanor; first-degree unlawful imprisonment, a class E felony; and three counts of official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor.

Bryan Haag, 37, of Kinderhook and an IRS agent, was charged with one count each of second-degree gang assault, a class C felony; second-degree assault, a class D felony; three counts of third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor; and one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment, a class E felony.

Cory Gaylord, 31, of Craryville, was charged with one count each of second-degree gang assault, a class C felony; two counts of third-degree assault, a class D felony; one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment, a class E felony; one count of third-degree coercion, a class A misdemeanor; and second-degree reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

Kelly Rosenstrach was suspended without pay from the Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday. She was previously placed on administrative leave from her position as a sheriff’s deputy July 9.

The 25-count indictment came about 13 weeks after Handy was reportedly assaulted at a Fourth of July party held at the Rosenstrachs’ home, 3193 county Route 21, Kinderhook. Handy was treated by EMTs for his injuries at the scene at about 1 a.m. July 5 for nearly an hour before he was transported to Albany Medical Center.

The four suspects were released without bail by Judge Richard M. Koweek, who stipulated they turn in their passports. All four of the accused also agreed to be fingerprinted at the New York State Police Barracks in Kinderhook.

Koweek announced the court will have a virtual compliance conference Oct. 23 and the pre-trial date was set for Jan. 29.

Lawyers for the four suspects stated their clients have not had any contact with Handy since the July 5 incident, adding each of their clients had no prior criminal history.

The indictment claims the defendants intended to cause Handy physical harm July 5 and they restrained him, causing a risk of serious injury.

Haag’s attorney, Paul DerOhannesian, said unlike the other three suspects in the case, his client did not know Handy prior to the July 5 incident.

Kelly Rosenstrach was placed on administrative leave from her position as a sheriff’s deputy July 9, four days after the alleged assault took place on her property. Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Louis Bray said Kelly Rosenstrach was put on unpaid leave on the day of the indictment.

“Harold Handy was unquestionably the victim of a completely oppressive and avoidable series of criminal acts, and the fact that the grand jury handed down indictments for Gang Assault against all four defendants underscores the heinous nature of their actions,” said Handy’s attorney, Paul Freeman of the law firm Freeman Howard, PC.

“Both Harold Handy and [his wife] Kaitlin Handy, are thankful that Koweek issued a protective order against all four defendants during the pendency of these proceedings,” Freeman said.

Handy continues to suffer both physical and emotion trauma from the incident, Freeman added.

The Handy family will not respond to media inquiries, Freeman said.

The investigation was initially handled by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and was taken over by state police in August at the request of Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka, state police Public Information Officer Beau Duffy said.

Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said in a statement that he decided July 6, the day after the incident, to turn the case over to state police in an attempt to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest, but state police declined to take it.

State police took over the case in August.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.