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> District Attorney - PR - 10-22-10


December 3, 2015


Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson announced the trial conviction of Howard A. Leonard, 67, for trying to sexually abuse a 13-year-old girl during a time in January 2014 to early February 2014.  The defendant was found guilty by a jury in Tompkins County Court of one count of Attempted Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  The jury deadlocked on the remaining charge of Attempted Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.  Judge Rowley declared a mistrial as to that charge.

As proven at trial, Leonard pulled the 13 year old girl down on the couch trying to unzip her pants to touch her genital area while the girl was telling him to stop and slapping his hand away from her zipper and genital area.  The defendant was known to the victim.

The jury deliberated for approximately ten hours before reaching a verdict. The defendant faces up to four years in prison on the top count.  The date for sentencing has been set for January 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm.

Assistant District Attorney Wendy Franklin prosecuted the case.  Attorney Richard VanDonsel represented the defendant.  The New York State Police handled the investigation of the case.