The man charged with raping a 12-year-old girl had been employed by Putnam County, N.J., District Attorney Adam Levy, the son of television's Judge Judy Sheindlin.
Alexandru Hossu, 35, who was charged with two counts of first-degree rape earlier this month, was supposedly working for Levy as a personal trainer while illegally staying past his visa expiration date.
“I knew he was working for the D.A. Alex told everybody that,” a relative of the alleged victim told the Lower Hudson Journal News. “[The girl’s mother] told me that he’s an illegal alien, back when I first heard about him, years ago. Everybody knew that.”
The relative said Hossu met the girl's mother at a local gym and began a "serious relationship" that ended more than a year ago.
Levy maintains he had no knowledge of the immigration status of Hossu, who had a valid driver's license and a social security number.
Hossu is from Romania, and overstayed a work visa that allowed him entry to the U.S. more than a decade ago. He is accused of raping a 12-year-old "forcibly and violently" twice in October 2010.
According to local reports, the arrest has fueled a feud between Levy and the county sheriff, Donald B. Smith. Smith has accused Levy of misleading the public about the case through his position as the district attorney.
Smith told the media Hossu lived at Levy's multimillion dollar home and that his driver's license listed Levy's address. Levy gave a different address, but Hossu reportedly gave authorities Levy's address.