Court upholds man’s guilty plea to over 100 counts of rape, incest

ALBANY – The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has denied the appeal of a former Chatham man’s conviction on 56 counts of first-degree rape and 56 counts of incest in connection with his sexual assaults on a relative over a five-year period.

Jeremy Hart, 44, pled guilty in Columbia County Court in February 2019 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 15 years of post-release supervision.

As part of his plea arrangement, Hart waived his right to appeal, but he did, nonetheless, contending he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because defense counsel failed to challenge certain aspects of the indictment.

“When questioned on this point at the time of his plea, defendant assured the court that he had been afforded sufficient time to confer with counsel and was satisfied with counsel’s services,” the appellate court wrote in a November 19, 2020 decision.  The appeal was denied.



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