A grocery store worker at Best Market in Great Neck Plaza was arrested on charges of sexual abuse while at work on the evening of Friday, Nov. 1.
Officers of the Nassau County Police Department’s (NCPD) Third Squad said a seven-year old child was shopping in the store with their grandfather when Best Market employee David Bonom led the youth into the building’s bottle recycling room. When there, police say Bonom, 34, reached down the child’s pants and touched him inappropriately. The child later returned home and told their father what had happened, after which he notified the police.
Bonom was arraigned and charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse, a class-D felony, at the Nassau County First District Court in Hempstead on Nov. 2.
According to New York Penal Code § 130.65, first-degree sexual abuse is chargable when an accused perpetrator uses force to abuse a physically helpless victim of under 11 years old, or 13 years if the alleged abuser is older than 21. If convicted, the charge can warrant a sentence of up to 10 years probation and/or seven years in prison, in addition to mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Bonom’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 2. While his defense attorney Marc Gann declined to comment on the specifics of the case, he said he expects certain details that will come to light during trial will result in a positive outcome for his client.
“I think with further investigation of the circumstances and allegations surrounding this incident that I expect the case to work out favorably,” Gann said.
Word of Bonom’s arrest prompted polarizing reactions from the community. After the news spread, several Great Neck residents and patrons of Best Market took to social media to discuss the alleged incident. People who have interacted with Bonom at the store before said they believed him to have some form of intellectual disability that may have contributed to his behavior.
Mark Esposito told the Great Neck Record that Bonom had been nothing but helpful when he and his family had shopped at the store.
“He seemed to fulfill his tasks dutifully, seemed dedicated,” Esposito said. “He seemed childlike, wanting to be one of the kids or wanting a hug or trying to play with our girls. Never felt he was creepy.”