Acquitted of rape and criminal sex act, Michael Orbino Jr. is still in jail facing a stalking charge
CANANDAIGUA — As the jurors filed out of the jury room ready to announce their verdict, a woman's sympathetic glance toward the accuser said it all.
“Not guilty,” said the jury forewoman, regarding the charge of first-degree criminal sex act. “Not guilty,” she repeated on the first-degree rape charge.
For the second time in a year, Michael Orbino Jr., was able to successfully defend himself from criminal charges.
“We’re thankful for the jury's hard work and effort,” said Ontario County Assistant Conflict Defender Benjamin Gilmour, who along with co-counsel First Assistant Conflict Defender Carrie Bleakley defended Orbino.
After the announcement, Orbino smiled repeatedly, looking around the nearly empty courtroom and awkwardly shoulder-hugging his attorneys.
The verdict was a bit of a surprise, as the day prior during deliberations jurors announced that they were deadlocked. After being read Allen charges, which encourage a jury to continue deliberations, the jurors were able to deliver a verdict before noon Friday.
It’s not the end of legal trouble for Orbino, though: While incarcerated on these charges, he picked up a third-degree stalking charge, a Class A misdemeanor, and needs to address that in the Hopewell Town Court.
“The only evidence is just records,” Gilmour said during Thursday’s closing arguments. “It’s a dangerous game being played here.”
Gilmour was referring to the fact that Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts indicted the case after it was closed by his predecessor back in 2014. The victim alleged Orbino raped her in 2008 behind the old Byrne Dairy on South Main Street in Canandaigua.
Complicating the case was a lack of physical evidence. Policy back in 2008 was that if police did not pick up the rape kit from the hospital within 30 days it was destroyed. Current regulations dictate that a rape kit is now kept for 20 years.
Monroe County Court Judge Charles Schianno Jr., who presided over the trial, released Orbino based on these charges. He’s still being held on $2,000 bail on the stalking charge he picked up while incarcerated at the Ontario County Jail.