With both sides entrenched as if in a goal-line stand, the case of a football fan accused of slapping the wife of a Buffalo Bills linebacker is headed to trial in Orchard Park Court.
A Nov. 13 trial date was set Tuesday for Kenneth J. Kuehne, 30, a suburban Rochester resident charged with a violation count of harassment.
Leslie Rogers, the wife of linebacker Sam Rogers, filed a complaint that Kuehne slapped her during a Rich Stadium parking-lot confrontation following the Aug. 31 football game.
Kuehne denies laying a hand on her, and both sides claim they have witnesses to support their version of what happened.
"We want the truth, and they want the truth. Our lawyer's going to handle it," Rogers said afterward.
Before appearing before the judge, both sides met separately with town prosecutor Jean Peterson, who later told Town Justice John M. Curran that she didn't think there was enough evidence to sustain the charge.
Much of the courtroom discussion occurred outside the range of microphones in the chamber.
"It sounds to me like an ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal) is the perfect resolution," Curran said in one of the few audible exchanges. Kuehne's attorney, William MacDonald of Rochester, shook his head no.
An ACD means the case is adjourned and the charge would be dismissed and the record sealed, if the defendant stays out of trouble for a specified amount of time.
"An ACD carries with it a kind of stigma of some kind of guilt," MacDonald said afterward. "I don't feel it was appropriate."
As the judge consulted with his clerk about trial dates, he told the Rogerses: "We can dismiss this with your consent. But I'm not going to dismiss this without your consent." They would not agree to the dismissal.
MacDonald said he will meet with attorney Vincent Tobia, who will represent Mrs. Rogers, to possibly resolve the case before trial. The Rogerses were not represented by an attorney at Tuesday's court appearance.
"They have indicated they would like to see the matter come to a conclusion, and Mr. Kuehne also feels that way," MacDonald said.