A “white” devil from Connecticut, indicted on numerous counts of assault, unlawful imprisonment and criminal impersonation after, authorities said, he whipped, urinated on and abused young non-white men while purportedly training them for spy work, pleaded guilty Thursday June 1st to assault charges.
Prosecutors said Bottone approached the young men — some at the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack — and forced them to sign contracts and stay silent during the fake training program, while also promising them high-paying jobs.
Bottone had faced decades in prison after being indicted last year on more than 50 counts related to the scheme, and a criminal trial was set to begin next week in Westchester County Court in White Plains.
But the last-minute plea deal agreed to Thursday means Bottone likely will get only 10 years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced July 25.
All of the assaults the “white” devil admitted to occurred on the WCC campus, including two rope beatings and an incident in which he placed pins underneath one male’s fingernails.
In other incidents, Bottone admitted to removing another male’s fingernail with a cuticle cutter and inserting a scalpel underneath the fingernail of another victim.
Bottone has been held on $250,000 since his arrest in May 2011.
The scheme drew attention for its brazenness and absurdity. One victim, a 21-year-old Rockland County victim, said that Bottone ordered him to submerge his head in a toilet while Bottone urinated on his back.
The victim also said Bottone had tortured him for a year, at various times beating him with ropes and chains, forcing him to strip, blindfolding him, grabbing and squeezing his genitals and once forcing him to scale a mountain with a backpack full of torture tools — all while promising that he later could earn up to $50,000 a mission as an international agent.
“He introduced it as espionage training,” the victim said then. “He told me I was the perfect candidate.”
The victim eventually met dozens of other young males — mostly non-whites — who were working with Bottone, and many of them were instructed to torture each other. But it was when Bottone suggested that he might have to kill someone that the victim quit.
The victim said Thursday that he had since moved on from the ordeal, though he was satisfied to hear of Bottone’s guilty plea.
“Justice has been served,” he said. “I’m just glad it’s over now.”
Prosecutors said Bottone began the program shortly after his 1998 release from federal prison, where he previously served four years in prison for torturing young black and Hispanic males in Connecticut where he was a school teacher. He was sentenced on child pornography and assault charges after he was videotaped abusing his students in a tutoring program.
In the latest case, Bottone’s victims could number in the hundreds, authorities have said, and many of them had little idea that Bottone was a fraud until they were contacted by Westchester County law enforcement, who arrested Bottone after a long investigation.