Orient businessman and farm owner Steven Mezynieski allegedly tied up his niece with rope during the abuse, civil court docs say.
By Lisa Finn (Patch Staff) – February 3, 2017 4:37 pm ET
A Long Island farm owner and businessman has been accused of raping and abusing his niece for a period of three years, and, in one incident, tied her up with rope without her consent in a greenhouse on his property during the alleged sexual abuse, court documents filed this week say.
According to a civil suit filed with the Suffolk County Supreme Court on Thursday, Steven Mezynieski, 44, who was charged with first-degree rape last August, began abusing his niece when she was 15, when she spent time at his Orient home due to the fact that her brother had just been diagnosed with cancer.
The complaint states that the abuse took place between 2012 and 2014 and details incidents when Mezynieski allegedly “took her on unsolicited shopping sprees and trips to Florida” and gave “her significant amounts of money” to single her out for special treatment. On those shopping trips he allegedly bought her lingerie, the documents state.
Mezynieski repeatedly performed oral sex on the teen without her consent, abused and raped her, the complaint states.
During one alleged incident, the complaint details, “As the rape continued, Plaintiff started screaming ‘no’ and in response, Defendant Steven M. Mezynieski choked” the teen.
The complaint also states that Mezynieksi allegedly forced the teen to drink alcohol and threatened ” . . .it would hurt her entire family if the truth came out, especially her mother who was worried about the cancer diagnosis of her brother and her.”
The young woman was diagnosed with a rare cancer herself in 2014, the complaint states.
Mezynieski’s attorney Eddie Burke Jr. responded: “These are bizarre and completely unfounded allegations intended to support false claims for money damages and smear my client’s good name. We will defend this lawsuit vigorously and not be subjected to a financial shakedown.”
Attorney Rosemarie Arnold, who has offices in Fort Lee, N.J., and midtown Manhattan, is representing the young woman, known in court papers as “J.G.,” now 20.
The amount of damages sought was not indicated in the court documents.
“It’s a sorry state when a human being is trusted with caring for his niece because her brother has cancer and instead of caring for her, he abuses her. What’s worse is this man has his own kids. He’s a child predator. He should be locked up behind bars,” Arnold said.
She added that the criminal case against Mezynieski is still pending.
“It’s very scary that a man who would commit these heinous acts is just walking around the upscale community of the Hamptons doing business with people who have no idea that he’s a predator,” the lawyer said. “He’s a sick and disgusting human being.”
In August, New York State Police in Farmingdale announced the arrest of Mezynieski. He was charged with first-degree rape, a felony, and first-degree criminal sex act, a felony, police said.
The charges are related to Mezynieski allegedly engaging in sexual relations with a female victim over the course of about three years, which started when the victim was under the age of consent, police said.
The investigation was conducted by members of the State Police Troop L Major Crimes Unit.
Mezynieski was arraigned before Judge Brian Hughes in Southold Town Justice Court and released on $25,000 bail, police said. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Later, the attorney representing Mezynieski said the charges filed against his client — charges of first-degree rape and first-degree criminal sex act, felonies — were not accurate.
Sag Harbor-based attorney Burke Jr. said the charges need to be clarified by New York State Police, who filed them under an incorrect subsection of the New York State penal code, he said.
According to Burke, the charges are “inapplicable to an underage situation.”
Instead, Burke said Mezynieski’s charges, under the statute of “forcible compulsion,” meaning “against the alleged victim’s consent,” had “nothing to do with age.”
Burke said Mezynieski was charged with Section 130.50 of the New York State penal code, first-degree criminal sex act, and said that his client was facing a charge of “forcible compulsion. It has nothing to do with underage.”
Burke said the same was true of the charge of first-degree rape, Section 130.35 of the penal code, with “refers to rape by forcible compulsion.”
Mezynieski is the owner of Driftwood Farms in Orient. He also owns Steven Mezynieski Inc., an excavation services company in Southampton. He was before the Riverhead Town Board in 2013 over plans for a farm on Sound Avenue in Calverton.
In August, Burke said he entered “strenuous not guilty pleas” on his client’s behalf.
“I look forward to addressing this matter in the appropriate court and clearing my client’s name,” Burke said.