The Citizen's top five stories of the work week.
Auburn police locate missing boy
The Auburn Police Department announced Wednesday they located a boy first reported missing on Tuesday.
According to a news release from 1:35 p.m. Wednesday, police located 12-year-old Jonathan Parker, who the department had asked for the public's assistance in finding earlier in the day.
In the release announcing Parker was located, the department thanked the public for their assistance.
Parker was reported missing Tuesday after leaving his Auburn residence of his own accord, according to the original release.
Auburn man accused of selling stolen item to pawn shop
Auburn police said a man stole a Blu-ray disc player Monday and lied on the form he filled out while selling it.
Auburn Police Department Deputy Chief Roger Anthony said Mikal S. Holbrook, 20, of 24 Merriman St., stole the disc player from a home on Francis Street around 3 p.m. and then sold it for $15 at Pawn King around 4:30 p.m.
Anthony said the theft victim reported it to the APD that same day. Holbrook lied on Pawn King's forms where sellers confirm their identify and verify that the object they sold was obtained legally, Anthony said.
Holbrook was charged with first-degree falsifying business records, a felony, and petit larceny, and was released on an appearance ticket.
ICE arrests, detains former Auburn farmworker for alleged visa fraud
A former Auburn farmworker has been charged with visa fraud for allegedly faking her identity and submitting false paperwork that claimed she was in the country legally, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
The woman, whom officials believe was using a fictitious name, was arrested on a warrant April 2 in Scipio Center. Court documents refer to the woman as "First Name Unknown Last Name Unknown, aka Floriselda Aguilar."
The woman had been employed by Dickman Farms Greenhouses and Garden Center in Owasco from January until early March, when she left the farm. She was not employed by the farm at the time of her arrest, Dickman Farms owner Dave Dickman said Tuesday.
According to the ICE agent, an I-9 employment verification form that the woman gave the farm contained a valid Social Security number, but the number does not belong to a Floriselda Aguilar. The worker also provided an alien registration card to the farm for her eligibility to work. Like the Social Security number, the information on the card was valid, but it did not belong to her. The paperwork "all looked completely legit," Dickman said.
The farmworker's arrest took place after a complaint was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York by a deportation officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 18.
In the complaint, the officer said his agency had been given information by a source who has "provided reliable and credible information on numerous occasions in the past."
The woman was still in federal custody Tuesday, a spokesperson for ICE said. According to the court case's stipulation, Aguilar and her attorney were granted time to "review the evidence in this case for both parties to potentially negotiate a pre-indictment resolution."
Ryan: Cases of some STDs spiking in Cayuga County
Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month, observed each April, is an opportunity to raise awareness about what STDs are and how they impact our lives, and to understand why it’s important to prevent, test for and treat STDs. The surge of STDs endangers the health of too many in the United States. Most of us will have a sexually transmitted disease or infection in our lifetime. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, which is not a reportable disease to health departments, is estimated to impact more than 80 percent of us.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2013-2017:
• Syphilis cases nearly doubled
• Gonorrhea cases increased by 67 percent
• Chlamydia cases remained at record highs
What do these diseases and numbers look like in Cayuga County? Of the reportable communicable diseases, chlamydia is the highest in Cayuga County. Cases of chlamydia have remained consistent over the past five years, with an average of 240 in each of those years. So far for 2019, we have seen 66 confirmed cases.
Second highest is gonorrhea. Gonorrhea cases in Cayuga County have been trending with the national rates. The majority of cases are being diagnosed in 20-40-year-olds.
Here are the numbers of cases of gonorrhea over the past five years, with a notable increase in 2018:
• 2014: 16
• 2015: 24
• 2016: 21
• 2017: 22
• 2018: 108
So far this year, we already have 12 confirmed cases.
We have not really seen an increase in syphilis cases like other parts of the New York state and across the country. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, there was one case diagnosed in each of those years. In 2018, and so far for 2019, we have not have any cases of syphilis diagnosed.
What could be the reason for these increases? One thought is that many of these diseases are treatable, leading individuals to perceive there is no real long-term health consequence from having them. But that is not the case, and we will discuss that later. Another factor is the new culture of meeting people online and casually hooking up without protection.
Many of these diseases and infections do not present with symptoms, so unless you are getting tested and then treated, you may not realize you are infected and therefore could be spreading it to more sexual partners. Leaving these untreated can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage, premature birth and cancer, just to name a few.
The Cayuga County Health Department subcontracts our STD clinic to East Hill Family Medical. Confidential, walk-in STD testing is available from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays. Here, patients can be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. Testing for STDs is through either urine or blood, or both.
If you cannot make it to the Monday evening clinic, contact East Hill Family Medical’s Reproductive Health Services at (315) 253-8477 or easthillmedical.com. The office is located in Metcalf Plaza, 144 Genesee St., Suite 401, in Auburn.
Repeat Fleming sex offender, freed in 2017, arrested for parole violation
A Fleming man convicted of multiple child sex crimes dating back to 1985 was arrested on a parole violation last week, according to records from the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Roger Kulakowski, 65, was arrested April 10 for violating one of the conditions of his parole, according to a DOCCS spokesperson. Details of the violation were not available, but it was not a new crime, the spokesperson said.
In 1985, a Cayuga County jury convicted Kulakowski of sodomizing a 5-year-old girl his former wife babysat for, and was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison, according to previous reports from The Citizen.
Kulakowski was released from prison after serving approximately eight years and was rated a level-two sex offender with a moderate risk of re-offending.
In 2000, Kulakowski began a high-profile custody case for his daughter and her half-sister against their maternal grandparents.
After two years, the grandparents relented and gave up their challenge, saying at the time they felt "backed into a corner" and unlikely to win a trial because of a previous agreement with Kulakowski.
Cayuga County Family Court Judge Peter Corning, who presided over the case, had also granted Kulakowski custody of the children in 1999 after a neglect petition was filed against their mother.
Defending that original decision, Corning expressed doubts on Kulakowski's conviction, stating he was was convicted on the testimony of a 4-year-old and a disgruntled wife and had never admitted any crime, even before a parole board.
"I was and I am convinced that Mr. Kulakowski is not a predator, and not a danger to these children," Corning said at the time, pointing to a psycho-sexual evaluation indicating Kulakowski was not a predator.
However, in 2014, Kulakowski pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act for sexually abusing two girls over the course of several years, prompting Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann to describe Kulakowski as a "monster."
Originally facing a life sentence, Kulakowski was given five years in prison as part of a plea agreement, a sentence both Budelmann and Judge Thomas Leone felt was too light, but agreed to as it both spared the victims from testifying and kept him behind bars for at least some time.
In late 2017, Kulakowski was released on parole and rated as a level three sex offender with a high risk to re-offend.
Kulakowski will now appear before an administrative law judge who, depending on the severity of the violation, will either release Kulakowski to parole officers or order him sent back to prison.