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Nassau judge sets D’Amato child custody hearing for Dec. 1

A judge on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, set

A judge on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, set a December date for a child-custody hearing for former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, left, and his estranged wife, Katuria D'Amato, right, as they continue divorce proceedings. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A judge in Nassau County on Monday set a December hearing date to determine if former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato will keep temporary custody of his two young children as he and his estranged wife go through divorce proceedings.

Earlier this month, state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Lorintz gave the 80-year-old Republican power broker custody of the couple’s 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter after the former senator questioned the mental stability of his wife, attorney Katuria D’Amato, 51.

The judge also told her to stay away from the children and the former senator, signing the order after Katuria D’Amato was hospitalized following her 911 call on Sept. 30 reporting possible intruders at the couple’s former marital home in Lido Beach.

Katuria D’Amato’s attorney, Joseph De Simone, has said the former senator alleged in court papers she had a “psychotic break,” and that police had told her husband they found her loading a shotgun.

But De Simone has said the gun was locked away, and his client wasn’t allowed any input before that emergency order — which he said Alfonse D’Amato sought as “retaliation” after Katuria D’Amato’s Oct. 3 divorce petition.

Lorintz said Monday he will hear testimony in the custody proceeding starting Dec. 1. He’ll also appoint an evaluator to assess each parent’s ability to make decisions for the children and any risk factors that could impact where the siblings live.

Katuria D’Amato will continue to get regular supervised visits with the children — a condition Lorintz granted Oct. 11.

Stephen Gassman, Alfonse D’Amato’s attorney, previously said in court Katuria D’Amato told police who answered the 911 call “there were people in the house shining green lasers at her,” and her hospital discharge papers referenced a “substance-related psychotic disorder.”

“Difficult time, but he’s holding up very well,” Gassman said of the former senator Monday.

De Simone said Katuria D’Amato continues to be “upset by the situation” and the “fundamental allegations” in Alfonse D’Amato’s court filings are false.

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