39 felonies for inmate accused of violating order of protection

David M. Santillo

A Naples, Ontario County, man incarcerated at the Livingston County Jail in Geneseo continues to rack up criminal contempt charges for allegedly contacting an individual in violation of an order of protection.

Most recently, the man was charged with 39 such felony counts after allegedly contacting the individual using a video chat app while incarcerated at the jail.

On Nov. 6, 2020, David M. Santillo, 38, was arrested and charged by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office on burglary and criminal contempt charges after deputies found him hiding in the attic crawl space of a residence on Russell Drive in Lakeville. Santillo was brought to the Livingston County Jail on those charges and held for pre-arraignment detention.

He was later arraigned in the jail before Dansville Village Justice Scott Kenney, who ordered Santillo remanded to the custody of the Sheriff on bail and issued an order of protection against Santillo, protecting his alleged burglary victim.

After Santillo was issued the order of protection in the jail, deputies allege he called the protected individual from the jail’s booking phone in violation of the order. Santillo had been provided access to the phone in order to attempt to secure bail.

On Nov. 9, Santillo was charged with criminal contempt in the first degree, a class E felony. He was later arraigned in the jail before Ossian Town Justice Gordon Wilson, who ordered Santillo remanded on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond.

On Nov. 24, Livingston County Judge Kevin Van Allen issued an additional order of protection prohibiting Santillo from having contact with the protected party. On Jan. 27, 2021, Deputy Heather Benjamin of the jail division discovered that Santillo was communicating with the protected party via video chat while using a tablet provided to inmates at the jail.

Further investigation revealed Santillo used the tablet to violate the order of protection on 39 separate occasions between December 2020 and January 2021.

Usage of such tablets is monitored by members of the jail division and investigators were able to retrieve the video chats and secure them as evidence.

On Feb. 8, Investigator Matthew Orman arrested Santillo and charged him with 39 counts of first-degree criminal contempt.

Santillo was arraigned on his most recent charges in the jail before Geneseo Town Justice Kathleen Houston, who remanded Santillo to the custody of the Sheriff on $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond.

“We try our best to provide inmates with human contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, including video visitation through a tablet type program,” stated Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty in a statement. “Unfortunately, certain inmates game the system and even disregard court orders to not have contact. In those type cases, the end result can be 39 felony counts. I hope the District Attorney and the court holds inmate Santillo accountable to his alleged actions as anything less would be a horrible precedent to set.”

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