Child advocate reacts to attorney calling alleged abuse 'discipline'
FULTON, N.Y.---Our cameras were present last night in Williamstown, Oswego County as Gary Bubis Jr. and Shawn Whaley made their first court appearance in handcuffs, after being accused of torturing and abusing a ten year-old girl in Albion.
No cameras were allowed in the courtroom, so we waited outside.
Whaley is accused of kicking the child, which his Defense Attorney Salvatore Lanza says was Whaley's way of disciplining her, and that he is not educated enough to process what's going on.
This sent shock waves throughout Central New York.
"The defense of being stupid or uneducated, right, or somehow being poor excuses someone from committing a crime against a child, is not an excuse," Karrie Damm, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County said.
She understands defense attorneys have a job to do, but she's at a loss over this.
Child advocates like those here in Oswego County say it's an important reminder to everyone that child abuse knows no geographic or socioeconomic bounds.
"Plenty of people in other counties who have more affluence than we do, also see child abuse. So they also know better, but they still do it," Damm explained.
We did speak with Defense Attorney Lanza at his office today, but he wasn't interested in going on camera.
He defends what he said about his client, saying now the rest is up to the Oswego County Court System.