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The original item was published from 11/24/2021 3:32:04 PM to 2/16/2022 1:37:53 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: November 24, 2021

[ARCHIVED] District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea in “Monkey-Fist” Hotel Room Assault

   Orange County News
For Immediate Release                                Contact: Christopher Borek
 November 24, 2021                                 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c


District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea in 

“Monkey-Fist”  Hotel Room Assault


Woman Pleads Guilty to Assault in the Second Degree for Assault on her 

Ex-Boyfriend and Another Woman in a Hotel Room 


Defendant Admits using as a Weapon, a Knotted Rope containing a Weight

called a “Monkey-Fist”, which is designed to be used as a Flail 


Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on that on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, Justina Ferguson, 46, of Middletown, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to Assault in the Second Degree in connection with an assault on her former boyfriend and a woman in a Wallkill hotel room.  

Prosecutors alleged that August 15, 2020, at about 1:00 a.m., the defendant, who was accompanied by others, tricked hotel staff into giving her room information and a key to the room where her former boyfriend was staying.   An Orange County Grand Jury had charged Ferguson with assaulting her former boyfriend, as well as a woman who was sleeping in the room.

At the time that Ferguson pleaded guilty, she admitted entering her former boyfriend’s room and assaulting the woman with a weapon consisting of a knotted rope containing a weight. The assault was recorded by one of the individuals who had accompanied Ferguson to the room.  The weapon, which is commonly called a “monkey-fist,” is designed to be used as a flail. The woman suffered a serious headwound as a result of the attack.  

Ferguson faces up to seven years in State Prison and three-years post-release supervision when she is sentenced on February 17, 2022.  

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police for their investigation and the arrest of the defendant.   

“This defendant’s actions in lying to hotel staff to get access to her former boyfriend’s room and bringing a weapon, which she used to brazenly assault a helpless sleeping woman, were clearly premeditated, and it is likely that the recording of the assault was also planned,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “We may never know exactly what the defendant planned on doing with the recording of this heinous assault, but recording victims as they are assaulted, whether to keep as trophies, or to share with others, significantly revictimizes those who are entitled to our sympathy and support.”

District Attorney Hoovler commended Chief Assistant District Attorney Richard Moran who is prosecuting the case. 

This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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