AMSTERDAM — A former Amsterdam resident has been charged with multiple felony counts, accused of sexually assaulting multiple victims when he previously lived in the city, police said.
Anthony Morales, 43, now of Tallahassee, Florida, is facing felony charges of predatory sexual assault against a child and four counts of first-degree criminal sexual act.
The charges stem from incidents involving multiple victims who were under the age of 13 at the time, which allegedly occurred several years ago when Morales lived in the city of Amsterdam, according to Lt. Joseph Spencer.
“The people he perpetrated against, as they became older, they made a disclosure about the abuse they suffered by him and that is what prompted the investigation towards the end of last year,” Spencer said Friday.
Morales was known to the victims and was a “person of trust” to the individuals, according to Spencer.
Spencer declined to be more specific about the timeline of the alleged incidents or the number of victims involved, out of respect for their privacy. He said charges were filed within the statute of limitations.
Police investigated the allegations over the course of roughly six months before applying for and securing an arrest warrant for Morales, signed in Amsterdam City Court by Judge Lisa Lorman on April 27.
Local investigators were notified on May 4 that Morales had been taken into custody in Tallahassee by the U.S. Marshals Service and was being held at the Leon County Correctional Facility, pending an extradition hearing.
After the accused suspect waived extradition, Amsterdam detectives traveled to Florida to take Morales into custody and transport him back to the city on May 17.
Later that day, Morales was arraigned in Amsterdam City Court by Lorman on the charges against him and remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility without bail.
Morales may face future charges in other jurisdictions based on evidence that he perpetrated against the victims who came forward in municipalities outside of Amsterdam, according to Spencer, who said city police are aiding those additional investigations.
“That part of the case is ongoing,” Spencer said. “We have no evidence, as of yet, that there are any other victims out there.”
The Amsterdam Police Department is being assisted in this investigation by the Office of the Montgomery County District Attorney Lorraine Diamond. In particular, Spencer commended the efforts of Amsterdam’s detective bureau.
“Special victim cases are complex. They take a lot of diligent work to put together the best case possible and uncover as much evidence as you can in search of justice for the victims, and I think they did a great job in this one,” Spencer said.
Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.