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Baldwin mom gets jail time in sex assault of boy

Joan Tuckruskye, 44, of Baldwin, arrives at the

Joan Tuckruskye, 44, of Baldwin, arrives at the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola. (July 15, 2010) Credit: ULI SEIT

A Baldwin PTA mom who was found in the backseat of a car with a 13-year-old boy in 2008 was sentenced Thursday to 6 months in jail and 10 years' probation.

Prosecutors said evidence that Joan Tuckruskye, 46, had sexual contact with the boy included her saliva on his body and clothes.

The boy's parents, who were in the Mineola courthouse Thursday for the sentencing, did not speak. They submitted a two-page statement to Court of Claims Justice William C. Donnino urging the judge to impose the harshest punishment the law allows.

Before the Dec. 12, 2008, incident, the victim was a loving, caring, compassionate teenager who enjoyed life whether he was playing musical instruments, football or singing in a choir, his parents said in the statement.

"Since then, life in the [family's] home has become a devastating mess. His interest and zest for life are gone. He is no longer involved in constructive after-school activities," the boy's parents said. "The anguish this experience caused has so adversely impaired him that even the professionals at the high school do not know where or how to begin to rectify the situation."

Police and prosecutors did not name the boy because he's a victim of a sexual crime.

The boy was a student at Baldwin Middle School, where Tuckruskye was vice president of the parent-teacher association, according to school officials.

Police officers saw the boy and Tuckruskye, of Steele Boulevard, in the backseat of a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder in a parking lot behind Meadow Elementary on Jackson Street. They reported that both were naked from the waist down.

Tuckruskye's relationship with the boy began sometime before they were caught and his parents suspected it was more than platonic when they discovered text messages and e-mail messages between their son and Tuckruskye.

On April 20, Tuckruskye pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree criminal sexual act, a felony. She had faced anywhere from probation up to 7 years in prison.

Prosecutor Brian Lee asked Donnino to send Tuckruskye to prison for 2 years. The judge, however, went along with the probation department's recommendation, which also included 30 additional conditions regulating Tuckruskye's behavior during the 10 years she is on probation.

"The crime, the court has decided, requires both punishment and extended supervision to help prevent any future occurrences," Donnino said.


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