A trial date is set for Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Sheridan for the former corrections officer accused of two counts of domestic violence.
William Prost, 52, of Stone Quarry Road, Fredo-nia is charged with two misdemeanors: one count of third-degree assault and one count of criminal obstruction of breathing after an alleged domestic incident on May 8 at his home. At the time, he was employed as a corrections officer at the Lakeview Shock Incar-ceration Facility, but retired on May 29.
It is alleged Prost struck his live-in girlfriend in the face and covered her mouth and nose with his hand, preventing her from breathing. Both charges are class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in prison under New York State penal code and/or up to three years of probation. The sentence is left to the discretion of Judge Lydia Romer, as no minimum penalty is set for the offense.
Tuesday's trial date was chosen because Romer works during the daytime as a judge in Chautauqua County during most weeks, but has Election Day off because it is a state holiday. Prost's attorney and the assistant district attorney have evening conflicts due to regular court schedules, so the morning time was chosen. The trial will take place without a jury, at Prost's lawyer's request, and is expected to last two to three hours. Each side is expected to present witnesses.
Protesters against domestic violence assembled, complete with signs, across the street from the courthouse on the corner of Route 20 and Center Road during each of the previous court dates.
The assembled protesters included alleged victims of Prost in previous incidents, but not the most recent accuser.
Judge Romer told the protesters at a September court date, "It will be an open courtroom. You are welcome to attend. You will not be able to speak at the trial, but you are welcome to come and observe."
Full coverage will be available in Wednesday's OBSERVER.
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