JUDGE TARANTINO REMOVED FROM FAMILY COURT
The South Shore Press/Barbara LaMonica
A decision by Family Court Judge Andrew G. Tarantino, Jr., to permit overnight visitationbetween three children and their father, Dennis DeMille, II, a Registered Level 2 convicted sexoffender, has prompted the mother and Parents for Megan's Law, outraged at Judge Tarantino'sdecision that Laura Ahearn, Executive Director filed a complaint to the New York State Commissionon Judicial Conduct to request an investigation into, in Ahearn's words, the irreprehensiblemanner in which this case was handled...and further investigation into the bias that he appears toexude on cases involving sexual abuse allegations or sex offenders. DeMille, a former GardenCity Middle School teacher, is a twice convicted sex offender, having pled guilty on bothcounts. Charges include possession of child pornography (including images depictingprepubescent females), and having hands on sexually victimizing a child under age 17. CitingTarantino's highly inappropriate comments in a courtroom that were arrogant, sarcastic,dismissive, insensitive and abhorrent, on the case where DeMille is seeking overnight visits withthe children, Ahearn lambasted Tarantino's remarks during a press conference. Ahearn assetsthat Tarantino's refusal to consider expert testimony on the recidivism rates of sex offendersprecluded him from possessing or having on the record information crucial to his assessing theheightened risk of overnight visitation and potential risk increased unsupervised access wouldplace the DeMille children in. Ahearn took exception with Tarantino's order for ComputerCrimes Detective Giardina to produce the child pornography images (19 images of girls aged10-13). During a discussion on the record, Judge Tarantino with callous disregard joked, 'Icould have Officer Newell do little stick pictures and we'll label them. You can do anartist's rendition.' Judge Tarantino's lack of sensitivity toward the child victims, Ahearncontinued, is clearly demonstrated by his finding humor in the subject of child pornography and indehumanizing and relegating victims to being represented as stick pictures. No reasonableperson, especially a judge would find humor in the sexual victimization of children, unless theywere trying to excuse the inexcusable, those who possess child pornography or profit from thesexual victimization of children. Ahearn further denounces Tarantino's decision with thevisitation the children are already exposed to.
Despite the lack of consent by Child Protective Services, the attorney for the children andthe probation officer supervising DeMille, Tarantino approved Mr. DeMille's parents as thesupervisors for his contact with the children - after directly questioning the paternalgrandparents, with no formal hearing called. Ahearn noted the the agency remains deeplyconcerned that Judge Tarantino disregarded statements the paternal grandparents made to a CPSworker; blaming the child Mr. DeMille had sexually victimized as having pursued him. Thosewho sexually victimize children often justify their crimes by blaming the victim, Ahearnsaid. She notes that Tarantino joked about sex offender treatment on the record. Ahearnpoints out that the social worker for the Children's Law Bureau testified that she interviewed thechildren many times and that (one had) reported being alone with the father in his bedroom, andthat the children reported going ice skating and visiting Santa with Mr. DeMille and the paternalgrandparents - a violation of Mr. DeMille's probation. The mother of the children said, Ibecame outraged with the (judge's) dismissive attitude. My children are not supposed to bealone with my ex-husband and my five-year-old reported being alone, The mother maintainsTarantino's decision (though on appeal), puts the children at increased risk, and she is intenton continuing her plight so no other children can become exposed to this risk that Judge Tarantinoplaces....even though it's designed to protect us, it's very hard to put your trust in the courtsystem. Meanwhile, the mother states that during her testimony she felt victimized andintimidated by Tarantino who has since been reassigned from Family Court to State SupremeCourt.