William Moore and Matthew Diperna, both 18, have been arrested...

William Moore and Matthew Diperna, both 18, have been arrested on a charge of felony gang assault after police say they and a group of drunken South Side High School students beat a man after they accosted his wife and he demanded they apologize. (June 22, 2012) Credit: NCPD

A judge convicted two teens Wednesday on misdemeanor charges linked to a 2012 beating in Rockville Centre that authorities said happened after a man demanded that a group of high school students apologize for comments to his wife.

Nassau County Judge Christopher Quinn found William Moore, 19, guilty of assault in the third degree. He found Matthew Diperna, also 19, guilty of attempted assault in the third degree.

Quinn acquitted William Nelson and Nolan Kelly, both 19, along with Kevin Coyle, 20, of third-degree assault charges.

The confrontation happened in June 2012, when authorities said the 43-year-old victim suffered injuries including a rib fracture and facial trauma.

Police said the victim's wife was walking her dog on Roxen Road when a group of apparently intoxicated teens threatened or catcalled her. Authorities said that before the beating took place, the husband went looking for the teens to tell them to apologize.

Attorneys for some of the defendants argued that the teens acted in self-defense after a stranger confronted and attacked them. They accused witnesses of tailoring testimony to fit evidence, which included a video of the beating.

"I'm a little disappointed in the verdict, but I understand where the judge is coming from," DiPerna's lawyer, John R. Lewis Jr., said after the verdict.

Moore's lawyer declined to comment while leaving court with his client.

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