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Charge reduced against inmate rights activist in Nassau

Stephen Figurasmith, one of two protesters charged with

Stephen Figurasmith, one of two protesters charged with placing a fake bomb outside the Nassau County Legislature building, at Nassau County Court in Mineola on Friday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A local inmate rights activist accused of placing a fake bomb outside the Nassau County Legislature building had his offense reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, his attorney said Friday after his client’s court appearance in Mineola.

On June 14, police arrested Stephen Figurasmith, 32, of Valley Stream, and Suzanne Myron, 51, of Woodbury, after they said the two put about 120 bottles containing an unknown liquid in front of the Franklin Avenue legislature building — with another 125 bottles found nearby.

Figurasmith’s attorney, Ronald Kuby of Manhattan, said his client will return to court in September, when he expects the case against his client to be completely dropped.

Kuby said the Nassau district attorney’s office had agreed to give his client an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal or ACD, which means a defendant’s case is dismissed if that person keeps out of legal trouble for a certain amount of time.

But Kuby said District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer was not prepared Friday to accept the plea agreement and totally dismiss the charge against his client.

“Ultimately it will be dismissed, but not today,” Kuby said.

Figurasmith is part of a group called Prison Abolitionists of Nassau Inciting Change. He said outside court that the charge against him was “false,” that he would continue to advocate for inmate rights and would welcome an opportunity to meet with local government officials.

Figurasmith said he and his fellow protester wore biblical costumes when dropping off the bottles, which contained water colored with red dye. The protest was an effort to invoke symbolism of a plague and connect it with the idea that inmates have to do labor without proper pay, according to Figurasmith.

Court records indicate Myron had two felony charges against her reduced and her case is slated to be dismissed by ACD. Her attorney could not be reached Friday.

District attorney’s office spokesman Brendan Brosh confirmed his office was prepared to offer Figurasmith an ACD on Friday, before the judge’s rejection, and will do so again at the next court date.

Myron also got an ACD, he said.

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