The Canandaigua man is accused of raping a woman in an alley downtown
CANANDAIGUA — For the second time in two years, a Canandaigua man’s fate is in the hands of an Ontario County jury as prosecution and defense rested in the rape trial of Michael Orbino Jr.
Since January of this year, Orbino has been sitting in an Ontario County jail cell awaiting his second trial in as many years. Orbino is facing charges of first-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping and first-degree criminal sex acts for an alleged rape that occurred in 2008 behind the old Byrne Dairy previously located on South Main Street in Canandaigua.
Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts re-opened the cold case in December of 2018, two months after Orbino was found not guilty of an unrelated hate crime.
During the trial, the victim testified that she had gone for a walk on Sept. 9, 2008 with the intent of committing suicide by overdosing on her prescription medications. The woman admitted she started overdosing during her walk on her prescribed medications, including clozopin, topamax, olonzapine and others.
She testified that she walked as far as Byrne Dairy when Orbino, who had just been released from state prison the day prior, struck up a conversation with her and dragged her back into an alley where she was raped. After the rape the woman claims she walked home and later went to the hospital for the suicide attempt.
After two days at Thompson Hospital, she told medical staff she was raped. Based upon policy in 2008, rape kits were held for 30 days and then destroyed if police did not collect them — the present-day policy is that rape kits are safeguarded for 20 years. Her rape kit was destroyed back in 2008.
Police were not notified of the alleged rape until 2014, when, the victim claims, she recognized Orbino from TV on another criminal matter and came forward. City of Canandaigua Police Investigator Nathan Lawrence spoke with Orbino and the victim; however, then District Attorney Michael Tantillo closed the case due to a lack of evidence.
Ritts reopened the case, and a grand jury indicted Orbino with no new evidence or witnesses.
The Jury comprised of four women and eight men will begin deliberations Thursday.
Benjamin Gilmour and Carrie Bleakley from the Ontario County Conflict Defender’s Office are handling Orbino’s defense.
Monroe County Judge Charles Shiano Jr. is presiding over the trial.