Today’s news:

Sex charges dropped against Totten Historian

of charges that he had molested a 10-year-old boy

last month inside the fort's museum if he has no

other legal trouble for the next six months, a

spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney

By Kathianne Boniello

Longtime Bayside resident and Fort Totten historian Jack Fein will be cleared of charges that he had molested a 10-year-old boy last month inside the fort's museum if he has no other legal trouble for the next six months, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said.

Spokeswoman Sherry Hunter said acting Criminal Court Judge Dorothy Chin Brandt ordered an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal in the case, which means the charges against Fein will be dismissed if he maintains a clean record for the next several months. Fein's next court date is Sept. 15, Hunter said.

If Fein has no other legal problems, the case would be sealed and his record will be clean at that time, Hunter said.

The Times/Ledger erroneously reported Monday that Fein had been cleared of charges, effective immediately.

Fein was arrested Feb. 24 and charged with sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance the next day.

Fein, who turned 83 earlier this month, cried often during a telephone interview Monday morning as he talked about the case.

"I am following the concept of Jesus Christ and Moses - forgive and forget," he said,

The criminal complaint filed against Fein last month alleged that he "repeatedly hugged [the boy], kissed him on the face, and rubbed his hands again against the buttocks over his clothing" on Feb. 22 at the Fort Totten museum.

Fein served as the volunteer museum curator, historian, and tour guide at Fort Totten for more than 30 years before being hired by the city Parks Department several months ago.

Fein was suspended by the city Parks Department after the arrest, but there was no word as of press time whether or not the suspension would be lifted.

The Civil War-era fort, which is scheduled to become city parkland in about 1 1/2 years, was vacated by the Army in the late 1980s.

Fein, a Massachusetts native, first came to Fort Totten in 1936 as a soldier, and during his 30 years in the Army he was stationed in Panama, France, Germany, and Japan. Fein has spent the years since his 1967 retirement working seven days a week at the museum.

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