Two of the five Rockville Centre defendants in the Roxen Road assault case were convicted and could face jail time, officials confirmed.
William Moore and Matthew Diperna, both 19, were found guilty by Judge Christopher Quinn in a bench trial Wednesday.
Moore was found guilty of third-degree assault and faces up to one year in prison. Diperna could spend three months behind bars for third-degree attempted assault. Moore and Diperna, then seniors at South Side High School, were the first two arrests made in the assault.
"I'm a little disappointed in the verdict, but I understand where the judge is coming from," Diperna's lawyer, John R. Lewis Jr., told Newsday.
Meanwhile, Kevin Coyle, 20, Nolan Kelly, 19, and William Nelson, 19, were found not guilty of third-degree assault, which could have put them in prison for one year.
Moore and Diperna will return to court for their sentencing on March 19.
The five men were charged in the June 2012 beating of soccer coach John Woythaler, an incident that shocked and enraged Rockville Centre. According to police, Woythaler’s 44-year-old wife was walking their dog on Roxen Road when the five allegedly made sexually suggestive comments to her. She told Woythaler, who jumped in his car to find the culprits and make them apologize, cops said.
The five were then accused of brutally attacking Woythaler, who was rushed to Mercy Medical Center by RVCPD and treated for broken ribs, multiple contusions and injuries to his face and jaw, and a concussion, officials reported.
At opening statements on Jan. 7, prosecutors "said the teens acted in unison and later boasted about the attack on Facebook," writing, "We jumped an old man…We had to beat him. He kept getting back up," reported CBS.
Initially, the defendants were charged with second-degree gang assault, but those charges were dropped in August. Second-degree assault charges were also reduced in August to second-degree attempted assault, which could have sent them to prison for up to four years.
Second-degree attempted assault charges were dropped on Tuesday, the day before the verdict was issued.This is a breaking news story. Patch will update as more information becomes available.
Previous stories on the Roxen Road assault:
- Attempted Assault Charge Dropped in Roxen Road Case
- Roxen Road Victim, Witness Scheduled to Testify Thursday
- Roxen Road Assault Case Begins
- Gang Assault Charge Dropped Against Roxen Road Defendants
- Verdict Still Out in Roxen Road Assault
- Residents, PD React to Roxen Road Assault
- Mayor Murray: My Concerns on the Roxen Road Assault
- Two SSHS Seniors Arrested in Roxen Road Assault
- Police: Group of Teens Attacked Man on Roxen Road