VIDEO: Smiling Judge Astacio Sent Back To Jail, Again, Argues Her Arrest Is 'Illegal'
Rochester, NY - Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio found herself back in jail Thursday afternoon, after she argued with Judge Stephen Aronson about probation violations related to her alcohol monitoring SCRAM device.
Astacio’s probation conditions are the result of her 2016 drunken driving arrest and subsequent conviction.
"I told the probation officer that I would be more than happy to have a SCRAM bracelet, but that I would no longer pay for it as there is no authority for the court to order me to pay for it," Astacio told the court.
Prosecutor Zach Maurer told WHEC that the court can order Astacio to wear a SCRAM device, but that she cannot necessarily be mandated to pay for it.
"If you're unwilling or unable to pay for it, then you bring that to the court's attention, and then you let the court decide an issue of ruling about whether or not the probation department would be obligated to pay it instead," Maurer said.
Judge Aronson clarified that he was informed Astacio refused to wear a SCRAM bracelet, despite the court order.
He then remanded her to jail without bond until Monday at 11 am.
As she has in past hearings, Astacio continued to argue with Judge Aronson after the proceeding concluded.
“This is illegal,” Astacio said as she was being removed from the courtroom. “You are illegally incarcerating me again. This is the third time you've illegally incarcerated me. There's no actual violation of my conditional discharge. You are not able to just make the law."
Her original conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on Feb 13, 2016, when she was arrested by New York State Troopers for drunk driving.
That incident occurred about 8 am, and the judge's car was involved in a single-vehicle wreck.
On Aug 22, 2016, Astacio was sentenced to a 'one-year conditional discharge' that was continued until Mar, 2018, after she admitted to two violations of the discharge after drinking alcohol and driving under the influence.
She was back in court in March, when she beat four allegations that she had violated the conditions of her sentence: one that she drank alcohol on two separate occasions, and three about her ignition interlock, which will only start if the driver's alcohol levels are below 0.03%.
Judge Aronson ordered her to take a urine test to determine if there were byproducts of alcohol, but she didn't take the test, because she claims that she was in Thailand living with monks.
Judge Aronson then sentenced Astacio to the maximum jail sentence of 60 days, plus three years of probation, and a skin alcohol monitoring device for six months at her expense.
Astacio's attorney told Judge Aronson that Astacio wanted straight jail time, and didn't want probation.
"What she wants, Mr. Young, is irrelevant," Judge Aronson responded. "She will be sentenced to probation. She will be having someone monitor her in the future."
Her attorney then told Judge Aronson that Astacio was going to refuse to comply with her probation. He said she would violate probation immediately, and that the matter would just be back before the court.
"Then we will come back," Judge Aronson concluded.
Astacio's daughter yelled out, “F**k you, Judge Aronson!" and had to be removed from the courtroom.
Astacio was back before the court on Oct 23 for a multitude of probation violations, all of which Astacio’s attorney asked the court to dismiss immediately.
Judge Aronson promptly denied the request, and remanded Astacio to jail without bond, pending her next hearing on November 3.
Astacio was released from jail on Nov 3 because she was not given the terms of her probation until one week after she was sentenced. The court should have given her those terms at the time she was sentenced, WHEC reported.
Just one week after being released, Astacio was back in jail after the SCRAM dispute with Judge Aronson.
Astacio’s next hearing is scheduled for Monday at 11 am.
She continues to collect her annual salary of $173,700 from jail.
Watch a video of her latest hearing below.