BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – A North Salem counselor was arraigned on a felony charge of first-degree criminal sexual act after he was accused of engaging in sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy he was counseling in his Bronxville office.
According to Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, Mark Bernardini, 57, a licensed clinical social worker, was accused of engaging in sexual contact with a patient during a Tuesday session.
Immediately after the session, the boy notified his family who then contacted the Bronxville police and Bernardini was arrested on Wednesday morning.
Bernardini has a pending forcible touching case against him in North Salem, stemming from an incident in May, in which he was accused of touching a 16-year-old girl he was counseling at his home. Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor.
Bail was set at $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond. Bernardini faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison on the felony charge and one year in county jail for the forcible touching case.
Bernardini is due back in court on July 15 in the misdemeanor case and July 17 in the felony case. Assistant District Attorney Joyce Miller of the Sex Crimes Bureau will prosecute the former case, while Assistant Attorney Amy Puerto of the Special Prosecutions Division is prosecuting the criminal sexual act case.
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