An Orchard Park man arrested earlier this year on charges of spiking an energy drink with a date-rape drug and giving it to a college intern working at his family’s Clarence fitness center now faces an additional charge of sexually abusing the victim.
Donald A. Alessi Jr., 44, of Orchard Park, was initially charged by state police with second-degree assault and facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance when he was arrested in connection with the April 2012 attack. He was released on his own recognizance.
He was indicted recently by an Erie County grand jury on those two charges and the new charge of first-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty before Erie County Judge Kenneth E. Case who continued his release on his own recognizance.
When the allegations first surfaced last year, Alessi resigned from Alessi Personal Fitness on Transit Road to avoid hurting the business, which he and his brother started two decades ago.
He is accused of adding GHB, short for gamma hydroxybutyric acid, into the energy drink he gave to the woman to act as “an intoxicant or as a date rape drug,” according to state police. Giving another person a drug without consent is a form of assault, police said.
The case is being prosecuted by Rosanne E. Johnson, chief of the Special Victims Bureau for Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III, and Assistant District Attorney Lynette M. Reda.