RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) – Two teenagers accused of using a plumbing snake to brutally assault a developmentally disabled handyman pleaded not guilty Friday to the recently enacted crime of predatory sexual assault. Steven Rodriguez, 19, and Michael Lunsford, 17, both of Shirley, were each held on $1 million bail.

The two were arrested last week after allegedly accosting the 21-year-old man on Oct. 15 in the bathroom of the AMF Bowling Centers’ Shirley Lanes, where he worked.

One of the attackers, who police said had been bullying the victim for several years, twisted the snake so far into the man that it had to be removed during a surgical procedure that took several hours.

Both teens are accused of twisting the snake during the attack, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

The longtime prosecutor called this “one of the worst” crimes he has ever seen.

“I cannot imagine how a person could possibly take a victim such as this … and do what they did,” Spota told reporters after the arraignment. “I don’t have to explain it to anybody, just the facts themselves tell us this is horrendous.”


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