Man accused of holding woman hostage and raping her is on trial

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Twenty-one-year-old Frederick Gentile III of LaGrange is currently on trial for rape, sexual misconduct, unlawful imprisonment, and assault for a two-week series of events that occurred in October of 2018.

According to Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Joelle Morabito-Cruz, the female victim, who was 15 at the time, had run away from a Westchester treatment facility with another female resident.  The two girls joined with the friend’s boyfriend and made their way to Gentile’s trailer on Titusville Road.

Over the course of two weeks, Morabito-Cruz says that the victim was drugged and raped by Gentile on three separate occasions.  He is also accused of physically hitting her.  Some of the acts were captured on video by Brandon Baum, who was also present in the trailer.

The ADA plans to show the videos to the jury.  Baum was charged but those charges have been set aside in exchange for his testimony against Gentile.  Morabito-Cruz, in her opening remarks, described the case as being about “fear, violence, and control.”

The accused rapist is represented by Poughkeepsie attorney Steve Patterson, who describes the people involved in the criminal acts as “aimless young kids” who did not attend school, used drugs, and had no jobs.

He asserts that the victim was not held hostage but rather she chose to stay in LaGrange because she did not want to go back to the Westchester facility.  Patterson agrees that his client did assault the victim but says “there is no physical evidence of the rapes.”

Gentile was arrested by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office on October 1, 2020.  The jury trial before Dutchess County Court Judge Edward McLoughlin is expected to finish early next week.