Rape defendant in Ontario County Court claims it was ‘consensual’

Opening statements and first witnesses were called Wednesday during a rape trial in which a Hopewell man is accused of fueling an underage party and then raping one of the victims.

Michael Socciarelli, 34, is charged with six counts including first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree criminal sex act — all class B felonies.

“It was all consensual,” said Socciarelli to New York State Police during his recorded interrogation that was played as evidence to the jurors.

The victim testified on the first day of the trial that the day Socciarelli allegedly raped her was the first day she met him — he was seeing a family member, and they went to a trailer for a party. After shooting funnels she quickly blacked out, and the next thing she remembers is being at the hospital, she testified.

“He bought us Twisted Tea from Walmart,” said the victim. “I think we got beer somewhere else and went to the trailer and started drinking funnels.”

The next thing she remembers is being at the hospital.

It was an intense day 1 of the three-day scheduled trial that Ontario County Judge Frederick Reed is overseeing. Child advocacy bikers were there to support the victim on her day of testimony.

According to Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts, the morning after the party a family member called 911 to report that the victim was going into seizures and was raped the night prior.

A hospital worker testified that a rape kit was collected there and, according to Ritts, Socciarelli’s DNA could be found in the victim’s undergarments.

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