Canandaigua, N.Y.--- A former volunteer firefighter and youth coach accused of committing sex crimes against children was indicted on 35 criminal charges in Ontario County Court Monday morning.
Leslie Hoke is accused of committing the crimes against three boys over a number of years. He was first arrested in May 2012 and remains in Ontario County Jail.
The charges Hoke now faces are: Course of Sexual Conduct in the 1st Degree, Criminal Sex Act 1st degree, six counts of Criminal Sex Act 2nd degree, 19 counts Criminal Sex Act 3rd degree, one count Sexual Abuse 1st degree, five counts of Sexual Abuse 3rd degree, and two counts Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
If convicted of all these crimes, Hoke faces the possibility of fifty years in state prison. He turned down a plea deal in December that would have included a 20 year prison sentence.
Hoke is said to be under investigation for similar crimes in at least four other counties in New York including Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates County. Authorities believe as many as 15 victims have been identified but those investigations outside of Ontario County are still ongoing.
"At this point he's looking forward to a trial date,” Hoke’s lawyer Aaron Sperano said. “He's looking forward to me cross-examining these people that have come forward and made these accusations on him and that will be sooner rather than later at this point.”
Some of the victims and their family members were present in court Monday for Hoke’s arraignment.
"They're very concerned about the welfare of their children so it was very nice to see the families here to support the kids in court,” said Ontario County Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride. “They obviously felt a sense of betrayal from Mr. Hoke, obviously they're upset about what their children have been put through.”
All those victims and family members declined to comment for the record after the arraignment, but one person said, "It should be even more charges."
Hoke is due back in court in April.