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Former Legislator Michael Kelsey released from prison

HUDSON — Former Dutchess County Legislator Michael Kelsey (R-25) was released from state prison Thursday, May 5, after serving  six years for molesting two Boy Scouts during an August camping trip in 2014.

The then 38-year-old Salt Point resident was sentenced to serve seven years in a Hudson prison for sexual abuse. At the time of the trial, District Attorney Mary Rain had asked for the maximum sentence of 11 years.

Kelsey was an attorney who served on the Dutchess County Legislature in 2009, representing the towns of Amenia, Pleasant Valley and Washington, when charged with the crimes. He was also a leader of the Fishkill Boy Scout Troop 95 Venture Patrol when the crimes took place.

Kelsey was found guilty on May 12, 2016, and was convicted on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree attempted sexual abuse, both felonies; misdemeanor counts of forcible touching; and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The charges stemmed from a camping trip to Cranberry Lake, St. Lawrence County, in 2014, when Kelsey was said to have sexually molested two 15-year-old Boy Scouts who were under his supervision.

The two Scouts were 16 and 17 when they both testified at the trial. Their testimony, along with a recorded phone call between one of the victim’s mothers and Kelsey about the incident, helped seal the case for the prosecution.

Kelsey had represented himself for a time before hiring a well-known defense attorney. He also leaned heavily on religion for his defense; he had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ultimately, the jury took just one day to deliberate with the entire trial taking less than a week.

Now that Kelsey has been released from the Hudson prison, he will remain under the supervision of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Dutchess County office, with conditions. His parole won’t expire until 2032.

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