Alleged lover in Amy Fisher case reportedly indicted on rape charges

April 15, 1993|By Susan Forrest and Shirley Perlman | Susan Forrest and Shirley Perlman,Newsday

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- Joey Buttafuoco, who has steadfastly maintained that the closest he got to Amy Fisher was sharing an occasional pizza, was indicted yesterday by a Nassau County grand jury on charges of statutory rape, sodomy and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly having sex with an underage Fisher, according to sources close to the case.

Yesterday, Mr. Buttafuoco, 37, of Massapequa, N.Y., learned of the indictment in a 5 p.m. phone call from his attorney, Marvyn Kornberg, to the Buttafuoco family's auto body shop.

According to people in the room at the time, he turned to his 78-year-old father, Caspar, and said: "Dad, It's happened. I've been indicted."

At that point, the sources said, the two men became silent for about 30 seconds before Joey Buttafuoco called his wife, telling her she could advise their two children, or wait until he returned home.

"Mary Jo, I want you to sit down," he told his wife, who, from Joey's comments, was clearly crying at the other end, the sources said.

They said Mr. Buttafuoco then said in a soothing tone: "We need to get tight, we need to get through this. We're in a whole new phase now.

"Honey, just stop for a minute. This doesn't mean I'm guilty, Mary Jo. It means we have to stick together and be strong."

When asked about the indictment, both Joey Buttafuoco and Mr. Kornberg declined to comment.

The indictment came nearly 11 months after Fisher shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the head on the Buttafuocos' doorstep, and about seven months after Fisher, who told police she was having an affair with Joey, pleaded guilty to the shooting.

The case has spawned three television movies, two books, a satirical musical, a comic book, and raft of TV talk show episodes -- including several in which Mr. Buttafuoco bluntly protested his innocence.

Mr. Buttafuoco is scheduled to appear at the Nassau County Police Department in Mineola, N.Y., this morning to be fingerprinted and processed. He is then scheduled to be arraigned on the charges.

Sources close to the case said yesterday that Mr. Buttafuoco was indicted on six counts of third-degree rape, a felony that is commonly known as statutory rape; 12 counts of third-degree sodomy, also a felony; and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. The rape and sodomy charges are punishable by up to 4 years in prison on each count; the endangering charge carries a penalty of up to a year in jail.

Late yesterday afternoon, lawyers for the Fisher and Buttafuoco families received a temporary gag order warning them not to comment on People of the State of New York vs. Buttafuoco.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who still has a bullet lodged in her neck, has publicly maintained since the attack that she believes her husband's version of events and appeared before the grand jury earlier this month in a dramatic bid to head off the indictment.

Fisher, 18, was in the Nassau County jail yesterday, waiting to be returned to Albion Correctional Facility in upstate New York, where she is serving a 5-to-15-year sentence for first-degree assault.

Neither woman was available for comment, and Fisher's attorney, Eric Naiburg, declined to comment. Fisher's parents, Rosanne and Elliot Fisher, do not plan to attend the arraignment, a source close to the family said.

"They don't want to be spectators in this case," the source said.

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