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Hampton Bays man pleads not guilty to strangulation, rape, animal torture, records show

A Hampton Bays man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a 34-count indictment that included charges of strangulation and rape of an unnamed victim -- as well as the torture and physical abuse of animals -- and was ordered held on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail, court records show.

Justin Suarez, 27, was arrested by U.S. marshals earlier this week in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, after a warrant was issued for his arrest following a grand jury indictment on Oct. 9, authorities said. He appeared in Suffolk County Court Thursday afternoon before Judge Barbara Kahn after being extradited from Pennsylvania and is due back in court on Monday.

Suarez is charged with 13 felonies, 18 misdemeanors and three violations, amongst the offenses second-degree strangulation, rape, coercion, attempted assault with intent to cause physical injury using a weapon, criminal contempt, aggravated cruelty to animals and torturing and injuring animals.

It was not immediately clear if Suarez was represented.

Suarez was arrested in the Poconos Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Middle District of Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force following a joint investigation with the Pennsylvania State Police, Scranton police, Pocono Mountain Regional police and Southampton Town police, authorities said. He was found after information was developed by the U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Southampton Town police, citing the continuing investigation, said they could not immediately comment on the arrest or the case against Suarez.

A spokesman for the Marshals' office in Scranton, Martin Pane, said in a statement Tuesday: "Our society must not tolerate such violence and should be committed to ensuring that dangerous fugitives are brought before the court ... It is my sincere hope this arrest brings the victim some sense of comfort knowing the alleged attacker is now in custody."

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