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Long IslandCrime

Feds: Ex-Northport VA employee sexually assaulted medical center worker

A former employee at the Northport Veterans Affairs

A former employee at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center was arrested Wednesday and charged in connection with the rape of a female worker at the facility, authorities said. Credit: Johnny Milano

A former maintenance worker at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center was charged Wednesday in connection with the sexual assault of a female employee at the hospital.

FBI agents and the Veterans Affairs Inspector General arrested Tate Cruse, 38, of Mastic, on Wednesday morning on an indictment of three felonies including aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse and lying to the inspector general, authorities said.

At his arraignment Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip, Cruse was released on a $250,000 unsecured bond, with his wife and sister-in-law as sureties, according to officials. U.S. Magistrate Ann Shields ordered Cruse placed on house detention with electronic monitoring and prohibited him from contacting the victim or witnesses.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Mirabile told Shields at Cruse's arraignment that he had asked to be kept in handcuffs in lockup before the arraignment "due to his feelings of uncontrollable anger," authorities said.

Neither Cruse’s attorney with the Federal Defender’s office of New York nor Northport VA officials were immediately available for comment.

The indictment said Cruse was working at the VA hospital on Middleville Road when he raped a woman who worked at the medical center. A federal grand jury heard evidence in the case about the alleged Oct. 19, 2019, attack, in which Cruse forced the woman to have sex and threatened her, prosecutors said.

Cruse was also indicted on a charge of making false statements when he was interviewed by an inspector general two days later and denied having sex or any physical conduct with the woman, "when in fact, he then and there well knew and believed, those statements were untrue," according to the indictment.

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