Saratoga County

Ex-cop must go to jail after appeal denied in harassment case

A former Albany police officer will have to report to jail, now that the state’s highest court has r

A former Albany police officer will have to report to jail, now that the state’s highest court has refused to hear an appeal of his criminal mischief and harassment convictions.

Robert Schunk II was sentenced in June 2012 to a year in jail on charges that he grabbed a Halfmoon woman in her home and damaged her property. He didn’t have to report to jail until his appeals were exhausted.

The state Court of Appeals on Thursday declined to hear his appeal, effectively ending his case. The Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office got notice of the court’s action Monday.

Schunk was convicted in a March 2012 trial in Halfmoon Town Court of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation. Town Justice Lester Wormuth sentenced him to a year in jail on the criminal mischief charge and 15 days on the harassment charge, to run concurrently.

Schunk appealed his conviction first to Saratoga County Court, where Judge Jerry J. Scarano on April 13 affirmed the jury’s decision, and then to the Court of Appeals.

Halfmoon Town Court will set a date for Schunk to turn himself in to county sheriff’s deputies.

Schunk was accused of arguing with the woman at her house on Lookout Lane on April 3, 2010, and then grabbing and bruising her arms. The woman fled to the bathroom and locked the door, and Schunk damaged the door while trying to force it open.

The woman was in the bathroom taking a shower because Schunk had poured beer on her head, District Attorney James A. Murphy III said.

Schunk was immediately suspended from the police force after that incident, and was terminated in April 2012 based on an arbitrator’s decision, said Officer Steve Smith, Albany police spokesman.

In February 2011, an Albany County Court jury acquitted him of felony and misdemeanor assault charges. He was accused in that case of pushing former girlfriend Barbara Waters down a flight of stairs in January 2009, pressing a loaded pistol to her head and telling her to beg for her life.

The jury determined there was not enough evidence to convict him of those charges.

Authorities previously have identified the victim in the Halfmoon case as Waters, but the District Attorney’s Office has withheld her name in more recent statements.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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