A Southold man who was facing a first-degree attempted rape charge has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree attempted kidnapping.
Jose Amadeo Perez, 40, was accused of attempting to drag a 27-year-old woman into the woods off Main Road in Greenport on Oct. 25, 2016. He allegedly told the woman he was going to rape and kill her and held cutting shears to her neck while she cried, according to a statement the victim gave Southold Town police. A passing motorist stopped, and the woman was then able to escape, the statement said.
Mr. Perez was initially charged by Southold Town police with second-degree attempted assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree menacing and second-degree harassment.
Following a November 2016 indictment, those charges were upgraded to first-degree attempted rape with forcible compulsion and second-degree kidnapping.
Mr. Perez had been held in jail on $50,000 cash bail since then and court records indicate he underwent numerous psychiatric exams prior to Feb. 1 of this year, when he pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted kidnapping, which is a class C felony.
David Geller, Mr. Perez’s legal aid attorney, said the deal was a plea bargain from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office which offered his client less jail time.
“On the top count previously, he could have done up to 25 years in prison,” Mr. Geller said. The second-degree attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail.
Mr. Perez is due back in court March 5 for sentencing before Judge Barbara Kahn.