CARMEL, N.Y. â€“ Alexandru Hossu was transferred into federal custody Friday, a day after being acquitted of child rape charges, but could potentially be released within days as he awaits deportation proceedings.
Legal experts say it could be years before his immigration case is resolved.
Hossu, 36, a Romanian national who authorities said has overstayed a work visa, was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Friday and moved from the Putnam County jail to the Orange County jail, an agency spokesman said.
Officials have determined he may be released on bond while awaiting an appearance in immigration court for deportation proceedings.
Hossu, the former live-in personal trainer of Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, was acquitted by a jury Thursday in state Supreme Court in Putnam County of two counts of first-degree-rape, two counts of second-degree rape and a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
The prosecution of Hossu on child rape charges attracted significant media attention after Levy, the son of TV’s “Judge Judy” Sheindlin, recused his office but then seemingly tried to influence the defense and reportedly disclosed grand jury information to one of Hossu’s prior lawyers â€” conduct Westchester County prosecutors deemed “potentially criminal.” At one point Levy also contributed financially toward Hossu’s defense.
It’s unclear whether Levy will help Hossu out going forward, however. Michelle Carter, a spokeswoman for Levy’s office, declined comment Friday.
If Hossu posts bond, it’s also not clear where he’ll live.
He had been dating Jennifer Bartlett, who was Levy’s nanny and is the daughter of Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett. When Hossu was arrested last March, he was reportedly living in office space at the Clock Tower Commons shopping plaza in Brewster.
Hossu still faces an uphill battle in any deportation proceedings. Michael Wildes, a New York City-based immigration lawyer and former federal prosecutor who handled immigration cases, said federal authorities can “be very aggressive against a person even if they are vindicated if there is an allegation of violence.”
Although Hossu has no criminal record, he paid back more than $80,000 he was accused of embezzling from a Katonah restaurant roughly a decade ago. Bedford police built a case, but the restaurant’s owner opted to settle the matter civilly.
Any admissions Hossu made in that or the rape case could be used against him by the government, said Wildes. That Hossu is not currently married to an American citizen also weakens his case to stay in the country, Wildes said.
It’s unclear whether Hossu has retained an immigration lawyer. His lawyers in the rape case, Daniel Mentzer and Richard Ferrante, could not be reached for comment.