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Judge clears Katuria D'Amato of harassment charge, official says

Katuria D'Amato arrives at matrimonial court in Mineola

Katuria D'Amato arrives at matrimonial court in Mineola on Jan. 4. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A judge on Friday found the estranged wife of former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato not guilty of a harassment charge connected to a neighborhood dispute, a court official confirmed.

District Court Judge Tricia Ferrell acquitted Katuria D’Amato of the non-criminal violation following a five-day trial in Hempstead, court spokesman Daniel Bagnuola said Monday.

The harassment charge grew out of a June 25, 2018, dispute that Katuria D’Amato, 53, of Lido Beach, had with her Buxton Street neighbor, James Cash.

Police had alleged Katuria D’Amato berated the male neighbor and cursed at him as he walked past her house with his son, and then chest-bumped the man. 

But the mother of two previously made her own complaint to the Nassau District Attorney’s Office, saying Cash had told her son “how terrible” she was while he walked past her house before they exchanged words.

She has denied chest-bumping the neighbor.

In August 2018, police arrested Katuria D’Amato on a misdemeanor criminal contempt charge after Cash’s wife, Catherine Cash, claimed the woman gave her “the middle finger” on July 31, 2018, and cursed at her, after Catherine Cash looked out a window and saw her.

Police alleged at that time that Katuria D’Amato, by doing so, had violated a no-harassment order stemming from the first dispute.

Katuria D’Amato’s attorney, Thomas Liotti, claimed then that the neighbors were “abusing the system to have her arrested and embarrassed so that Alfonse D’Amato, gets an advantage" in the couple's matrimonial case.

The ex-senator's lawyer, Stephen Gassman, said his client had done nothing wrong and had "absolutely nothing to do with her inability to get along with her neighbors."

In April, Ferrell dismissed the misdemeanor charge, finding Katuria D’Amato’s right to a speedy trial was violated and there were “also no allegations of threats ever being communicated.”

The D'Amatos' divorce case is set for trial soon in a Mineola court following the recent end to their lengthy battle over temporary custody of their two children.

Liotti said in a statement following the judge’s not-guilty verdict in the harassment case that Katuria D’Amato “deserves this vindication.”

Katuria D’Amato said Monday she was “thankful that Judge Ferrell made a decision based on the evidence.”

A Nassau District Attorney’s Office spokesman said Monday that prosecutors “respect the verdict.”

The Cashes couldn’t be immediately reached by phone.

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