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Alexandru Hossu lived briefly with rape victim's mom, sources say

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

Alleged child rapist Alexandru Hossu briefly lived with the mother of the girl he is charged with raping, and met both the mother and Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy at a local gym, sources familiar with the case told Newsday on Wednesday.

Hossu, who was Levy's live-in personal trainer, has been charged with "forcibly and violently" raping a 12-year-old girl twice on Oct. 24, 2010, at the youngster's Southeast home.

The child, who is now 15, was the daughter of Hossu's girlfriend at the time, sources said. The girl'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 about a month ago, sources said, adding that the counselor alerted officials through a state hotline.

"She [the alleged victim] 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 reportedly a fitness buff, has said that his family has known Hossu "for years," but sources said he met the Romanian bodybuilder in a gym.

Hossu, 35, worked as a trainer at the World Gym on Route 22 in Brewster but was fired around 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.

A worker at the World Gym said employees had been instructed not to discuss Hossu with the media.

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.

On Friday, 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.

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 issued a blistering statement Friday in which he accused Levy of perhaps acting "illegally" and unethically during the investigation. Hossu's case has been transferred to Westchester County District Attorney Janet 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 illegally for 12 years.

Hossu is being held in Putnam County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. He has not entered a plea, and his next court date is May 7.

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