RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Rather than being a cop, prosecutors say, Henry Terry was quite the versatile criminal.
Arrested earlier this year on a charge of impersonating a police officer, Terry was arraigned Monday on a raft of new charges in a 54-count indictment that accuses him of raping a woman, molesting teenagers, abusing cats and dogs, scamming a 56-year-old bus driver out of tens of thousands of dollars, and other crimes.
Terry, who was ordered held without bail, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs.
His attorney, George Dazzo, said Terry is in remission from leukemia, and described him as an "amiable, nice, easygoing 24-year-old man."
"He steadfastly maintains his innocence and is anxious to defend himself in court," said Dazzo.
"By invoking a fear of violence and the authority of a badge and uniform, he manipulated these people," Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. "They had no reason to doubt his ability to follow through on his threats or challenge what they logically interpreted as the legal authority of a law enforcement officer."
Terry, who lived in various places in Suffolk County, including Holbrook, Islip and Mastic, was accosting people as a police officer since at least 2005, prosecutors said. He had all the right accessories to impersonate a police officer: an authentic-looking uniform, a car with lights and sirens, a pair of handcuffs.
He even had an office in neighboring Nassau County that served as an unofficial "police station," although no charges are currently pending against him there.
In announcing new charges, Spota said Terry faces two counts of first-degree rape in an attack on a woman in St. James in December 2006. He is accused of attacking a 28-year-old caretaker at the home, displaying a gun and threatening her with arrest before sexually assaulting her.
Terry is also accused of seducing a number of teenagers in his home, threatening them with arrest if they refused to comply with his orders, prosecutors said. The indictment unsealed Monday also charges Terry with menacing, assault and other crimes in connection with the teens, Spota said. In April 2006, prosecutors said, Terry went to Greenwich Village in Manhattan and cajoled four teenagers to come with him back to Long Island, where one 15-year-old boy remained for an undetermined amount of time.
The indictment also accuses Terry of scamming a 56-year-old bus driver out of $120,000 in $15,000 increments between July and November 2005. Terry, using his law enforcement background to bolster his argument, convinced the man that he was being victimized in a credit card scam should hand the cash over to Terry for safekeeping, prosecutors said.
Terry also faces animal cruelty charges; prosecutors said he would put cats inside milk crates and set them afire. He also is accused of starving a pit bull.
He faces up to 132 years in prison, if convicted of the charges.
For some time, Terry set up a personal police station in Hempstead, where he kept records of possible crimes and sometimes interrogated "suspects" who were handcuffed to a chair.
To convince civilians he was a cop, Terry bought badges, uniforms, handcuffs and other law enforcement paraphernalia from catalogs and the Internet, Spota said. He would stop motorists, ostensibly for traffic violations, and before his interrogations he would photocopy each "suspect's" ID, just as real police do.
When he was arrested in February, Terry was charged with grand larceny; he is accused of convincing the owner of a sport utility vehicle to give him the SUV to use in a supposed undercover investigation. He then swapped the driver's vehicle for another one and $600 cash, the district attorney said.
In 2002, Terry was arrested for reckless endangerment and sentenced to five years of probation. He violated those terms in May 2004 when he was arrested on a charge of criminal impersonation in Nassau County. He was sent to prison, but was freed on parole again in December 2004.
His next court date is July 25.