QUEENSBURY — A former local fire department lieutenant who pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with a youth he knew through his firefighter duties was sentenced to up to 6 months in Warren County Jail on Wednesday.
John Novohradsky, 53, will also spend 5 years on probation after his release from jail for his guilty pleas to abuse of a teenage boy he had befriended and "groomed" before sexually abusing while serving as a lieutenant for the Queensbury Central Fire Department. The teen was too young to consent to sexual activity.
Novohradsky offered no apology or statement in court Wednesday, other than telling Judge John Hall he “appreciated everything you have done for me.”
He offered a “promise” that he would not to try to contact the child in the future as Hall discussed an order of protection, and nodded his head in agreement when his lawyer said he would not be before the court again in the future. Hall also imposed $1,425 in sex offender and court fees and surcharges.
Hall said a risk assessment for sex offenders resulted in Novohradsky being deemed a Level 1 sex offender, considered least likely to re-offend.
Novohradsky pleaded guilty last month to disseminating indecent material as well as misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. The felony charge was filed because he shared pornographic material with the teen, and the sexual abuse count was brought because he fondled him.
The sentence was not part of a plea deal with the Warren County District Attorney’s Office. Instead, Novohradsky’s counsel worked out a plea agreement with Hall that required him to plead guilty to all of the charges against him, with the understanding he receive a sentence that includes the jail term as well as probation. He could have faced up to 4 years in state prison.
Novohradsky was arrested in February after a State Police investigation into an improper relationship with a boy under the age of 17 whom he had met through his duties with the fire department.
State Police were notified and determined he had sexual contact with the teen, and Novohradsky confessing when questioned.
A former fire chief downstate before he moved to Queensbury, Novohradsky had been with Queensbury Central for nearly four years and resigned shortly after his arrest. He told Hall he now lives in West Fort Ann.
He began serving the jail term Wednesday, and will have to serve at least 4 months of the jail term before becoming eligible for release.