Buttafuoco Pleads Guilty in Fisher Case
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) _ Joey Buttafuoco, who repeatedly denied having sex with Amy Fisher, pleaded guilty today to third-degree rape for sleeping with the teen-ager before her 17th birthday.
″On July 2, 1991, I had sexual relations with Amy Fisher at the Freeport Motel,″ Buttafuoco declared in a clear voice at a hearing in Nassau County Court.
The 37-year-old Long Island body-shop owner will receive no more than six months in prison, five years probation and a $5,000 fine at a Nov. 15 sentencing, said Judge Jack Mackston.
The case of the ″Long Island Lolita″ captured national headlines and was dramatized in three TV movies. Fisher, now 19, is serving a five- to 15-year prison term for shooting Buttafuoco’s wife in the head on May 19, 1992. She said she was angry that Buttafuoco was ending their affair.
Mary Jo Buttafuoco did not attend the hearing.
″She is very, very upset,″ said Buttafuoco’s lawyer, Dominic Barbara. ″She’s been crying all night.″
Buttafuoco was accused of having sex with Fisher when she was 16. The age of consent in New York is 17.
He was charged in a 19-count indictment with statutory rape, sodomy and endangering the welfare of a child. The plea entered this morning takes care of the entire indictment.
″He’s a man. He did what he had to do, so that everyone’s life can go on,″ said his lawyer, Dominic Barbara.
After the 20-minute hearing, Buttafuoco left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.
Fisher charged that Buttafuoco had sex with her in July 1991, just prior to her 17th birthday.
As part of a plea agreement with the Nassau County district attorney’s office, Buttafuoco agreed to plead guilty to third-degree rape, the most serious count in the indictment.
The district attorney did not take a position on a sentence, leaving the decision to the judge. Statutory rape, or third-degree rape, is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
Buttafuoco’s plea came a week after the judge ordered him to provide results of a physical examination and blood tests.
Prosecutors last year said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against Buttafuoco. They reopened the investigation in February when a former Buttafuoco employee came forward to say that his boss had acknowledged having sex with Fisher.
In the past, Buttafuoco and his wife have insisted that he never had sex with Fisher.
″Joey never cheated on me,″ Mrs. Buttafuoco said in April. ″We have a good, solid relationship. He never had an affair with Amy Fisher.″