Damon Rallis ran unsuccessful campaigns for Southold Town supervisor and assessor.

Damon Rallis ran unsuccessful campaigns for Southold Town supervisor and assessor. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

A longtime Southold Town employee and Boy Scout leader was arrested on child pornography charges Tuesday and later released to home detention, federal officials said.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman said Damon Rallis, 46, who works as a building permits examiner in the town’s building department, was arrested Tuesday morning at his Southold home on charges of distribution of child pornography.

Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said that Rallis, who ran for town supervisor in 2015 and town assessor in 2017, has been suspended pending a town investigation. He has worked for the town for more than 20 years.

At an arraignment in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, U.S. Assistant District Attorney Paul Scotti said investigators found Rallis, a Scoutmaster of Troop 51 in Greenport, was in possession of multiple "disturbing" images of male toddlers in "explicit" poses. In addition, prosecutors said, a search turned up a camera in the bathroom of Rallis' house that was angled so a viewer could watch someone using the toilet. Scotti said that Rallis also admitted to investigators that he deleted from his computer child pornography that he had viewed.

Scotti argued that Rallis posed a flight risk and should be jailed pending a trial, but Lakeytria Felder, Rallis' attorney in the case, said Rallis posed no flight risk as he is a longtime resident of Long Island. Felder said Rallis could be monitored if he was released, and there were no allegations that he "has touched any child or harmed any child."

Rallis was released on a $200,000 bond and confined to home detention with no internet access. Home detention would have allowed him to go to work at Southold Town Hall, where Rallis said there were safeguards monitoring his computer use.

"We are shocked and disgusted by these charges. As of this afternoon, the employee is being suspended while the town conducts its own investigation into these allegations," Russell said in a statement.

Rallis, who has two children from a prior marriage, was also ordered by the court to notify the children’s mother of the proceedings and could only see his children in the presence of their mother.

Rallis wife, Joanna Rallis, attended the virtual hearing.

"All of this is insane to me," she told the court when the judge explained the release conditions to her.

Rallis faces a minimum five years in prison if convicted, Scotti said.

Latest videos