Alexandru Hossu, accused of raping a girl, will testify before grand jury

Alexandru Hossu, a 35-year-old Romanian bodybuilder and the Alexandru Hossu, a 35-year-old Romanian bodybuilder and the live-in trainer of Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, is escorted into Southeast Town Court for a brief court appearance in connection with charges of raping a 12-year-old girl in 2010. (March 26, 2013) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

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Alexandru Hossu, an alleged child rapist and former live-in personal trainer of Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, will testify on his own behalf in front of a grand jury, his lawyer said Tuesday during a brief appearance in Southeast Town Court.

Hossu, 35, is scheduled to go before a grand jury on the rape charge on June 14, according to Robert Altchiler, his attorney.

"We have agreed with the district attorney's office that my client will testify before the grand jury," Altchiler said in court.

Hossu has been charged with "forcibly and violently" raping the girl twice on Oct. 24, 2010, at her Southeast home when she was 12 years old. The child, who is now 15, was the daughter of Hossu's girlfriend at the time, sources said.

Altchiler also told the court he is going to ask the FBI to investigate what he called "false claims" by the alleged victim. He said he had asked Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore's office to join him in making the request.

The case has been transferred to DiFiore's office because of Levy's connection to Hossu.

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But Westchester Assistant District Attorney Frederic Green said DiFiore had no intention of asking the FBI to investigate.

"We're not going to be joining in any of these other investigations he's calling for," Green said.

Shackled around the waist, handcuffed and dressed in beige jail garb, Hossu remained silent throughout Tuesday's five-minute hearing.

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Altchiler told the court he would provide the names and phone numbers of those he would like the district attorney to call to testify before the grand jury. Green did not indicate whether DiFiore would call those witnesses.

Outside court, Altchiler declined further comment.

The victim's mother and Hossu broke up in 2011, and he began dating his current girlfriend, Jennifer Bartlett, sources said.

The mother, whose identity Newsday is withholding to protect her daughter, died of a drug overdose last year in Danbury, Conn., sources said. The girl's father died several years ago, and she and her younger brother have been living with an aunt, sources said.

The girl reported the incident to a school counselor earlier this year, sources said, adding that the counselor alerted officials through a state hotline.

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"She is a credible witness as determined by the Child Advocacy Center," said one source who was briefed on the investigation.

Levy, the 44-year-old son of TV's Judith "Judge Judy" Scheindlin and a reported fitness buff, has said that his family has known Hossu "for years."

Hossu, a Romanian bodybuilder, worked as a trainer at the World Gym on Route 22 in Brewster, but was fired about the time of his March 20 arrest, sources said. He also was employed at a gym in Pawling and had owned a fitness company with his ex-wife, Corey Smith, based out of their Connecticut home.

Levy, who has championed the rights of child abuse victims during his two terms in office, has refused repeated requests from Newsday to clarify his relationship with Hossu.

In March, Levy's office issued two statements in an effort to distance himself from Hossu, providing two locations in the Clock Tower Commons as Hossu's address. No residences, however, could be found at either location.

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Sheriff Donald B. Smith said Hossu told arresting deputies he lived at Levy's Southeast home, and Hossu was carrying a New York State driver's license with that address on it. Bartlett, 21, also listed Levy's Indian Wells Road address as her residence, according to Nexis.

Investigators have not determined whether Hossu was living with Levy at the time of the attacks, sources said.

Smith and Levy have been battling since Hossu's arrest. Smith has issued a blistering statement in which he accused Levy of perhaps acting "illegally" and unethically during the investigation. Levy has denied the accusations, saying he and his office acted properly in transferring the case to DiFiore's office.

Smith said he has asked federal Immigration and Customs agents to investigate whether Levy knowingly harbored Hossu, who has been in the country without documentation for 12 years. Whether or not he's convicted, he faces deportation.

Hossu, who has not entered a plea, is being held in Putnam County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. He faces up to 25 years behind bars if convicted.

With Ron Bittner

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