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New York Assemblyman Faces Charges

February 12, 2000

GENESEO, N.Y. (AP) _ After a two-week stay in a psychiatric ward, a state assemblyman surrendered to police and was charged with burglarizing the home of a female aide.

Jerry Johnson, 57, a four-term Republican from western New York, was arraigned Friday on a charge of second-degree burglary, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.

Johnson pleaded innocent and was freed on $10,000 bail. The judge ordered him to stay away from the woman and her husband, who live near this village 35 miles south of Rochester.

Johnson declined to answer questions, but his attorney indicated he was not considering stepping down or resigning.

``He is on medication and we continue to receive medical care,″ said the attorney, John Parrinello.

Johnson, who is divorced and has three daughters, was first elected in 1992 and is up for re-election in November.

He entered Bry Lin Hospitals, a psychiatric center in Buffalo, on Jan. 27 with the approval of Livingston County Sheriff John York, a personal friend.

The investigation began in December when the woman, who was not identified, told police her pocketbook had been stolen from her car. Authorities turned up evidence that Johnson had entered her house without permission Oct. 22 and placed a telephone call, York said, adding further charges could be filed soon.

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