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Yates DA Todd Casella gives update on sex abuse case involving 18 suspects, one victim

Prosecutors in Yates County shed new light on the investigation that left 18 indicted in a case they called one of the most difficult of their collective careers.

A total of 18 people were arrested on various sex offense charges committed against a single child.

The abuse allegedly took place over seven years at multiple locations in Yates County and the Southern Tier.

Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella addressed media on Monday about the case. “In my 10 years as a criminal prosecutor, I have not seen a case like this,” Casella said. “And if not for the hard work of the members of the New York State Police and others mentioned, that would still be true.”

One suspect, 49-year-old Andrew Daugherty from Dundee, has been a registered sex offender since his 2006 conviction for attempting to sexually abuse a 5-year-old boy in 2005. Sentenced to five years of probation, Daugherty was labeled a level 2 risk, indicating a “moderate risk of repeat offense.”

Daugherty now faces charges of predatory sexual assault, predatory sexual assault against a child, and sex trafficking of a child. If convicted, he could receive mandatory life sentences for the first two charges. Casella did not comment on whether the child was related to any of the indicted suspects but assured that the child is safe and being cared for.

The joint investigation involved the Bureau of Criminal Investigation from Troops E, A, and C, the Holly Hill Police Department in Florida, the Yates County District Attorney’s Office, the Yates County Department of Social Services, and the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit. These agencies collaborated to conclude the extensive inquiry and provide support services to the victim.

Other indicted individuals include Micheleine Ridley, Michael Gucciardo, Ashley Crandall, Anthony Hawn, Mary Diederich, Tiffany Jamieson, Richard Tallarida, Zackery Crissell, Wayne Niles, Ashley Shaffer, Aaron Labar, and Stephanie Ridley.

Five additional defendants have pleaded guilty to various charges, including Brittany Skinkle, Gregory Scears, Summer Elliott, Steven Sherman, and Kayla Montgomery.