A Three Village elementary teacher accused of raping a bartender pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to charges of rape, aggravated sexual abuse and assault.
Michael Wachholder, 30, of Rocky Point, was ordered held on $450,000 bail. He is due back in First District Court in Central Islip in March 2.
Judge Patricia Filiberto also issued an order of protection for the
victim, an unidentified woman who worked at the Mount Sinai tavern when
she reported being sexually attacked on Feb. 3.
A prosecutor said that shortly before 3:30 p.m. that afternoon,
Wachholder had talked to the victim. She later was preparing the bar's
food service area when Wachholder came up from behind and hit her head,
causing her to fall, the prosecutor said.
He then smashed her head against the tile floor and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.
A man who went to the bar with Wachholder and who police didn't arrest,
saying he did not participate in the attack, is cooperating with
investigators, according to prosecutors.
Wachholder's attorney, Jim O'Rourke of Hauppauge, told Filiberto that it is that man, described as an
acquaintance, who was the rapist -- and he is pinning the blame on
"There may be a rush to judgment," O'Rourke said, describing his client
as a lifelong Suffolk County resident who is married with two children.
He said his client, a physical education teacher at Arrowhead School in
East Setauket, was willing to take a DNA test to clear his name.
Teacher Denies Raping Mount Sinai Bartender
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