*Hat Tip: Phillip King
A Pittsfield woman was arraigned Monday afternoon after being charged with raping an 18-month-old boy. Following her arraignment, she was released on the condition of not having any contact with the victim.
The incident happened back in January, and now a 29-year-old mother is facing some serious charges in Berkshire County.
Erica Emerling has been charged with aggravated rape of a child with force, posing a child in a sexual act, and aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. No one related to the case would speak with reporters, but retired Troy Police Captain John Cooney says the charges are heinous.
“What really ramps this up is not that the first charge is bad as it sounds. Now with it being an aggravated charge, that means basically that the child was injured based on the actions of the defendant, just horrible,” he said.
Emerling had no guilty pleas entered on her behalf and was released following her arraignment Monday afternoon. So why would she be allowed to walk free? Cooney says her release is considered correct as long as the child is in good hands.
“The order of protection is very appropriate. It’s necessary. That’s an absolute. But the release is probably saying this child is going to be safe until it's resolved. We don’t have any concerns about the defendant victimizing the child further through the process.”
Emerling’s former roommate Amanda Stevens initially described the female child molester as a sweet person. She says that changed once she got to know Emerling a little better.
"It makes me really really sick that I was even roommates with her and the fact that I would actually go places with her before I knew any of this. I feel very stupid and gross, to be honest,” Amanda Stevens, Emerling’s roommate, said.
A second person, Gary Montana, 32, of Hudson, was also arrested in connection with the case. New York State Police arrested Montana on August 21 due to an outstanding warrant from the City of Pittsfield.
Montana has been charged with Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14, Rape of a Child With Force, and Posing a Child in a Sexual Act. All the charges are felonies.
State police say Montana is considered a "fugitive from justice" and thus is currently being held in Columbia County Jail without bail awaiting extradition back to Massachusetts.
Stevens also tells says she believes Montana and Emerling were dating at the time of the incident. Police were unable to confirm this information.
Digging deeper into the case, news reporters found what was thought to be Emerling’s address. The reporters knocked on the door to speak with her but was told she moved months ago.
The District Attorney says they, too, did not have her current address.
Emerling is expected to appear in court again next year on February 6th.