Petar Dunat  

Petar Dunat   Credit: NCPD

A Bethpage man who was charged with public lewdness last month pleaded not guilty Saturday morning in a separate investigation involving a boy, Nassau police said.

Petar Dunat, 18, of Stewart Avenue, who was arrested again Friday, pleaded not guilty in First District Court in Hempstead, after an investigation into alleged sexual advances toward a 10-year-old boy, Nassau County police said.

About 3:45 p.m. on June 18 in Hicksville, Dunat drew the attention of the boy walking on Gables Drive near Gables Road, police said. 

Dunat made a U-turn in his sedan, pulled up by the boy and made sexual remarks, police said. The boy went home and told his parents, who contacted the police. In asking for the public's help to find the driver, investigators had issued a drawing of the suspect, whom the boy described as a blond-haired man in his 20s wearing a black shirt. 

On Saturday, Nassau District Judge Andrea Phoenix set bail in the most recent case at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

Dunat's attorney, Alan C. Stein, said Dunat did not approach the boy and police had the wrong suspect.

“We believe this is the case of mistaken identity,” Stein said. “This is a case sensitive to the Nassau District Attorney and the police department and they were searching for someone to arrest. After analyzing the facts, they will find he had nothing to do with this.”

Second Precinct detectives discovered the suspect was the same man arrested June 27 after he touched himself inappropriately in his vehicle while asking a 70-year-old woman for directions, police said. That happened on East Nicholai Street in Hicksville, authorities said, and Dunat was arraigned on a charge of public lewdness.

In this case, Stein said Dunat had lowered his swimsuit below a sunburn, but he was still wearing underwear while asking directions.

He said Dunat is a Nassau Community College student with no prior criminal record.

Dunat is due back in court Tuesday on the most recent charge and Aug. 5 on the first charge.

With Ellen Yan

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