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Former aide to Carrie Solages sentenced for groping

Derek Lawrence, 50, of Elmont, was convicted in

Derek Lawrence, 50, of Elmont, was convicted in November of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, but acquitted of misdemeanor forcible touching. Photo Credit: NCPD

A former aide to Nassau Legis. Carrie Solages (D-Elmont) was sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail for groping a female staffer in the legislator's Mineola office last year.

Nassau District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer also ordered Derek Lawrence, 50, of Elmont, to pay $2,250 in fines and to stay away from the victim.

Lawrence was found guilty at a bench trial in November of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, but acquitted of misdemeanor forcible touching.

James Polk, Lawrence's Garden City attorney, said he plans to appeal.

"I am disappointed with the sentence," Polk said. "I intend to clear Mr. Lawrence's name. I have no doubt he is innocent."

Lawrence hugged and kissed the unidentified victim without her consent in Solages' office in the County Executive and Legislative Building on Feb. 18, 2014, according to a criminal complaint.

Lawrence, who had worked for Solages since April 2013, was suspended without pay from his $32,000-a-year job last year.

"We have been advised by counsel to await the conclusion of all legal matters before an action of termination takes place," said Democratic spokeswoman Lauren Corcoran-Doolin, noting that Lawrence could appeal.

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