***TALK OF THE SOUND EXCLUSIVE***
New Rochelle Police Officer Matthew Melillo was arrested today by investigators of the Westchester County District Attorney's Office on charges related to Disseminating Indecent Material to a Minor, videos of himself in a sexual act, sources say.
The sources say Melillo transmitted videos of himself engaged in a sexual act to what he believed to be 15 year-old girl. The "girl" was an undercover criminal investigator working for the Westchester County District Attorney.
"We were notified yesterday by the DA's office of the arrest of Officer Melillo," said New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome. "He has been suspended without pay for 30 days."
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore statement:
Matthew Melillo, 31, 475 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York, was arraigned on a Felony Complaint charging him with one count of Attempted to Disseminating Indecent Material to a Minor, a class “E” Felony.
Between August 3rd, and August 29th, 2012, the defendant engaged an undercover investigator from the Westchester County District Attorneys Office in a series of “chat” conversations through the Internet.
Throughout the “chats” the undercover investigator made it clear that “she” was a fifteen year old girl.
During that period of time the defendant discussed various specific sexual acts in which he would engage the “fifteen year old girl.”
Additionally, the defendant sent a video he claimed to be of himself in a sexual situation while he was “chatting” with the fifteen year old.
The defendant was arrested yesterday by investigators from the Westchester County District Attorneys office.
The defendant was arraigned by a White Plains City Court judge last night. Bail was set at $1,000. He is scheduled to appear today in City Court. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Delohery, Chief of the High Technology Crime Bureau, is prosecuting the case.
New Rochelle Police Detective Captain Joseph Schaller statement:
Yesterday afternoon we were notified by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office that they had arrested a New Rochelle Police Department employee, Police Officer Matthew Melillo, charging him with Attempted Dissemination of Indecent Material to a Minor.
Officer Melillo has been employed by the Department for the past eight years. He was employed as Community Service Officer from 2004 to 2010, and has been employed as a Police Officer from July 2010 to the present.
Prior to this incident, the Department has never received any reports of misconduct involving Officer Melillo either on duty of off duty; nor, has the Department ever received any information, otherwise, to lead it to suspect Officer Melillo of engaging in any misconduct. Officer Melillo has been suspended from the Department pending investigation into this matter.
The District Attorney's office is using the address of New Rochelle police headquarters in their statement rather than his home address because he is a police officer.
Investigators from the District Attorney's office did not inform the City of New Rochelle or the New Rochelle Police Department of the investigation of one of their officers until an arrest was made yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. at Melillo's home in New Rochelle's East End. Soon after the arrest, DA Investigators were on scene at NRPD headquarters searching Melillo's locker and checking computers, sources say.
Melillo graduated from the Westchester County Police Academy in December 2010.
According to the Stepinac alumni web site, Melillo graduated from Stepinac High School in 1998. He played football for the school.
Melillo is just the latest in a series of public employees alleged to have engaged in various sex crimes involving students and district employees: Marisa Anton (Librarian, New Rochelle High School), Patrick Clark (Electrician, Buildings & Grounds Department) Anthony Newman (Glazier, Buildings & Grounds Department), Donna Henry (New Rochelle School Security Guard), Leroy Manuel (New Rochelle School Security Guard), Robert McLean (New Rochelle School Security Guard), Kyle Figueroa (New Rochelle School Security Guard), Walter Hubbard (New Rochelle School Janitor).
In 2010, Jose Martinez plead guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting a student in his office at Isaac E. Young Middle School. Despite promises to do so, the New Rochelle Board of Education never conducted an investigation into the Martinez case nor made the results public.
UPDATE: Mellilo was arraigned in White Plains City Court on Tuesday night before Judge Brian Hansbury. He plead "not guilty". Bail was set at $1,000 which he made.
ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB:
Talk of the Sound broke this story Tuesday night thanks to tips from helpful readers, we had the story exclusively until around 11 am the next morning when the DA's office issued a press statement at which point many local outlets picked up the story. Thanks to all the TOTS Tipsters!
NBC New York: New Rochelle Cop Accused of Having Online Sex Chats With 15-Year-Old Girl
theLoop: New Rochelle Cop Arrested for Indecency
Patch: New Rochelle Police Officer Arrested in Sex Sting
Newsday: New Rochelle cop accused of sending sex video to girl, 15
Mid-Hudson News: Cop arrested for allegedly talking sex with undercover “15-year-old” female
myfoxny.com: Cop accused of transmitting sex video