Saratoga County

Saratoga Springs man charged with sexual assault

A 32-year-old city man who served time in state prison for the 1992 stabbing death of a man he claim

A 32-year-old city man who served time in state prison for the 1992 stabbing death of a man he claimed had preyed on him sexually was arrested Thursday on charges that he sexually assaulted another man and held him captive in his apartment.

Matthew J. Gasbara had pleaded guilty in 1994 to first-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of 41-year-old Dennis W. Jerome in Jerome’s Vischer Ferry home on July 29, 1992. Gasbara was 16 at the time of the killing and 18 when he was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.

Gasbara, who lived in Malta in the early 1990s, admitted to stabbing Jerome 351 times under “extreme emotional distress,” according to a April 16, 1994, Daily Gazette story. The killing, according to Gasbara’s grand jury testimony, occurred “in a fit of fear and rage” after Gasbara broke off a sex act with the older man because it hurt.

On Thursday, Gasbara, who now resides at 28 Lincoln Ave. Apt. 1, was charged by city police with one count each of first-degree criminal sexual act and unlawful imprisonment, both felonies.

City police Sgt. John Catone said Thursday that Gasbara and his alleged victim didn’t know each other before Wednesday night, when they met at a bar in the Ballston Spa area.

Police got a call about the incident at 4:30 a.m. Thursday reporting a possible rape case. The assault allegedly occurred in Gasbara’s apartment.

Gasbara was arraigned Thursday before City Court Judge Douglas Mills and sent to the Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.

The highly publicized 1992 homicide case also involved another Saratoga County teenager, Matthew L. Wilson, then 17. Police alleged that Wilson helped Gasbara kill Jerome, but Wilson was acquitted of three second-degree murder counts by a jury in March 1994.

The case was prosecuted by then-Saratoga County district attorney David A. Wait.

Trial testimony indicated that Jerome had brought the two teenagers to his home and had sex with both of them.

Gasbara was allowed to plead guilty to the reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter in April 1994 before then-acting county court judge G. Thomas Moynihan, according to a June 11, 1994, Daily Gazette story.

Gasbara could have been sentenced to 25 years to life if convicted of the original charges, which were second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

Gasbara was first eligible for parole in 1997, but his record with the state Department of Correctional Services said he was not released on parole until 2006.

Before being sentenced to state prison, Gasbara had already served 21 months in the Saratoga County Jail and the Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy, Oneida County, between the time of his arrest in 1992 and sentencing in 1994.

Vicki Duclos, Gasbara’s mother, said in 1994 that her son had earned his high school equivalency diploma while in jail awaiting trial and sentencing. She described her son as an above average student and a voracious reader who enjoyed poetry and the works of Shakespeare, according to the 1994 Gazette story.

Categories: Schenectady County

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