WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A former Connecticut teacher who once served time in prison after being caught on videotape abusing his students pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he beat and whipped young men he recruited for fake overseas intelligence jobs.
Lawrence Bottone, of Stamford, Conn., was arraigned in Westchester County Court on a 29-count indictment that included charges of assault, criminal impersonation and forcible touching. He was ordered held on $250,000 bail.
Bottone called himself Dr. Hunter and approached men in Westchester County from 2008 to 2010 and promised to train them for high-paid security jobs, prosecutors said. Instead, the 53-year-old Bottone got the men to strip, then beat and whipped them and stuck needles under their fingernails during simulated interrogations for jobs that didn't exist, prosecutors said.
During the investigation, police recovered a training kit that included rope, needles, strapping tape and vegetable oil in Bottone's car.