October 21, 2021

New bail set for man accused of rape in 2015

Kevin Conlon/City Editor

Defense attorney Luke Fenchel addresses Cortland County Judge Davic C. Alexander in Cortland County Court on as Fenchel’s client, Christopher C. Gillette looks on. Gillette is accused of a 2015 rape in the city of Cortland. He was released on bail after the court appearance in November of 2019.

A man accused of raping a woman in 2015 while she babysat his children had a new bail set Tuesday during his virtual appearance in Cortland County Court, two months after his arrest for failing to appear in court.

Christopher C. Gillette, 37, was charged in October 2019 following an investigation by Cortland police with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, felonies; forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors.

Defense attorney Luke Fenchel requested that bail be set for Gillette as he was eligible.

Noting financial issues with Gillette and his family, Fenchel requested bail be set at $1,000.

However, Assistant District Attorney Jessica Weyant said that factors surrounding Gillette including pending charges of third-degree burglary and attempted second-degree assault on a police officers, felonies — stemming from his arrest after failing to show up in court in November — should be considered against Gillette in Fenchel’s bail request.

Weyant countered Fenchel’s request offer with a recommendation that Gillette’s bail be set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

“I fully believe Mr. Gillette can’t make bail beyond $1,000,” Fenchel responded.

Gillette previously made bail in November 2019.

Judge David C. Alexander set bail for $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. Gillette is next scheduled to appear in Cortland County Court on Feb. 2.

The victim testified in October that in April 2015, she was babysitting Gillette’s two daughters. She had taken some sleep medicine and fell asleep.

When she awoke the next morning, she noticed marks around her neck resembling a hand and male fluids as she went to the bathroom, she testified. She never gave permission for sexual contact, and testified that besides Gillette and his daughters, nobody else was in the house.

She also said she spoke with Gillette in late 2016 or early 2017 while he was in county jail, where he apologized for hurting her.