Astacio pleads guilty to violating probation

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Rochester City Judge Leticia Astacio is a free woman again after pleading guilty to a probation violation Monday.

Astacio pleaded guilty to one probation violation -- using a foot peel that contains alcohol, which is what triggered the SCRAM device to go off -- in exchange for time served.

As part of the plea deal, Astacio is required to wear and pay for the SCRAM device.

"I pleaded guilty to get out of jail," said Astacio. "Who doesn’t plead guilty when they can get out of jail? Jail sucks."

Ontario County District Attorney Jim Ritts found Judge Stephen Aronson's ruling satisfactory, saying the court exercised its discretion and allowed Astacio to choose which violation she wanted to plead guilty to.

"She admitted to, with the SCRAM brace, using the foot cream that contained alcohol, which was a violation of the conditions and the rules as it related to the SCRAM unit," said Ritts.

The hearing also addressed Astacio's most recent change of counsel. Last week, Gregory Salmon's request to be removed from her case was granted. On Monday, Judge Aronson signed off on Salmon being relieved from representing Astacio. 

Salmon would not comment on what specifically led to the falling out, but said there were incidents that broke down their relationship.

"I was surprised to see that she had taken a plea today to a violation of probation," said Salmon. "But I certainly hope this begins a new chapter for her."

Bridget Field, Astacio's former attorney, is now representing her.

Astacio wanted to make it clear that the court cannot force her to pay for the SCRAM device, but she will do so to avoid more jail time.

"I’m just trying to follow the law," said Astacio. "Look up people v. Hakes. People v. Hakes. My attorney cited it. I don’t have to pay for it. It’s illegal for the court to sentence it to me, but I don’t like to be in jail so it is what it is."

           She remains on probation, but all other alleged violations have been dropped. 

       Astacio is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 1.


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