WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The wife of a suburban mayor testified Wednesday that he once petrified her by placing a large caged cockroach against her face after a fight.
Fumiko Bradley testified for a third day against White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley, who's charged with slamming a door on her fingers and several other crimes related to domestic violence.
Adam Bradley, a Democrat who was elected last November, has pleaded not guilty and has resisted calls for his resignation.
Fumiko Bradley claims he has abused her since October 2009 by pushing her down stairs, throwing hot tea at her and squeezing her arms so tightly they bruised. She says she resisted filing assault charges against him for months in hopes of saving his career but finally called the police in February when he twice slammed the door on her hand.
She said Wednesday her husband once brought a Madagascar hissing cockroach home from the Bronx Zoo. She squirmed in the witness box as she described seeing at the zoo "piles" of the roaches, which can reach 4 inches long and sometimes are kept as pets.
"I have a phobia," she told Westchester County prosecutor Amy Puerto. "I did not want to have it in my house. I get goose bumps just thinking about it."
Adam Bradley, sitting at the defense table, shook his head. He has insisted he "did not in any way mistreat" his wife.
But she said that once after a fight, "He put the cockroach cage against my face."
"I was so scared," she said. "It was so upsetting. ... Not just the cockroach, but knowing how much I hate the cockroach, he put it against my face."
On cross-examination, defense lawyer Luis Andrew Penichet suggested that the roach was the pet of one of the Bradleys' two daughters and that Fumiko Bradley ordered her husband to kill it, but acting state Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci sustained objections to the questions. The judge is hearing the case without a jury.
Earlier Wednesday, during questioning about marriage counseling, Penichet asked Fumiko Bradley, 38, if she felt her husband, a 49-year-old former assemblyman, had been having an "inappropriate sexual relationship" with Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, of Scarsdale.
"Not sexually, just lying to see her," the witness said. "He didn't tell me he was going to see Amy. He was going out late with her."
Paulin, who has been married for 30 years, said by phone afterward, "Of course there never was an inappropriate relationship between Adam and me. The accusation is harmful to me and my family."
The Bradleys, who have been married seven years, are divorcing.