Ex-South Nyack Church Leader to Begin Prison Term for Sex Abuse

D.A.: Todd Retallack loses court appeals

BY BILL DEMAREST 

Todd Retallack / RCDA
Todd Retallack / RCDA

SOUTH NYACK – A former youth group leader of a South Nyack church is set to surrender in Rockland County Court next week to begin a three-year prison term for a 2012 sexual abuse conviction after losing court appeals, according to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.

The Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, refused to hear the case of Todd Retallack, 51, of 32 Terrace Drive, South Nyack, who tried to have his convictions for first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, overturned. The Appeallate Division of state Supreme Court had rejected his bid to overturn his June 2012 conviction by a Rockland County Jury in New City and found that the evidence supported the guilty verdict.

Zugibe said that during his appeal Retallack was required to wear an ankle bracelet that enable him to be tracked by law enforcement officials 24-hours-a-day, at Retallack’s expense. With the appeals  rejected, he must now begin serving his three-year prison sentence, Zugibe said.

“This case called for a prison sentence to both punish the defendant and to serve as a warning to others individuals who prey on children,” Zugibe said.

Retallack was convicted of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl at his home in 2009, when he served as a church youth group leader. Retallack was a friend of the victim’s family and was convicted of abusing the child while babysitting. He was arrested in 2011 by South Nyack-Grand View Police.

Daniel E. Bertolino, an attorney from Upper Nyack who represented Retallack along with attorney John Edwards, said Retallack has been advised about his options for pursuing his case in the federal court system. However, Bertolino said Retallack has not made any moves to launch any federal appeals.

In seeking to have the state Court of Appeals overturn the Rockland County jury verdict, Bertolino said Retallack challenged a decision by Judge Charles Apotheker that allowed a sitting juror to be excused from the case. An alternate juror was moved into the jury panel to replace the juror.
Bertolino noted that a second alternate juror has also been excused from the case, leaving no more alternate jurors.
Retallack has been held for about a month in jail previously in connection with his 2011 arrest. Bertolino estimates that the three-year prison sentence will likely mean Retallack will be released from prison in about two-and-a-half years.
Republished: Nyack Free Press