Of two San Benito County residents arrested in March for failing to register as sex offenders, one had the charge dismissed and the other’s case is still being reviewed by the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office.

Gaetano Addamo, 46, had been on probation for a previous sexual battery misdemeanor when local sheriff’s deputies arrested him March 20 on suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender, according to authorities. On March 26, a superior court judge dismissed the charge after Addamo admitted to violating probation based on this alleged failure, DA Candice Hooper said in an email.

Gaetano Addamo

Addamo was sentenced to 45 days for violating his probation, added Assistant DA Ellen Bell Campos. He completed the sentence as part of an inmate work furlough program that ended April 15, according to an employee at the San Benito County Jail.

Addamo is still required to register as a sex offender, according to Campos.

Addamo is the co-owner of Aroma Cellars restaurant and wine bar, located on San Benito Street in downtown Hollister. The phone number listed on the wine bar’s website is not active, and Addamo did not respond to an email requesting comment.

The misdemeanor sexual battery incident occurred in another county, Campos said. His probation supervision was transferred to San Benito County when he moved here. The local DAs office did not have details on the previous case.

Fidone case still under review

The case of Jonathan Fidone, another local sex offender arrested by sheriff’s deputies March 20, is still under review, according to the DAs office.

Fidone was also arrested in March on suspicion of failure to register as a sex offender. Assistant DA Karen Forcum said, “Fidone’s registration case is pending review, and further investigation is being conducted regarding the alleged violation.”

Jonathan Fidone

Fidone, 29, is required to register as a sex offender due to his conviction Jan. 28 on a charge of felony child abuse. That charge stemmed from a 2010 incident in San Benito County in which Fidone was accused of sexually abusing a 19-month-old girl.

Although a jury in 2012 convicted Fidone on multiple charges in relation to the 2010 incident, an appeals court vacated his sentence earlier this year. The appeals court determined Fidone’s attorney during the trial, Arthur Cantu, had been “prejudicially deficient” in his representation of Fidone.

Fidone was thus released from Kern Valley State Prison earlier this year, and agreed with local authorities Jan. 28 to plead guilty to the single felony charge.

As a result of that conviction, the court ordered him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Fidone is currently registered with a Sacramento County address on the state website that houses public information on California sex offenders.

But Fidone could be eligible to stop registering as a sex offender in about 10 years, due to an update to state penal code 290—known as the Sex Offender Registration Act—that is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2021. Under that update, registered sex offenders will be classified into one of three tiers, requiring an offender to register for 10 years, 20 years or for life.

Forcum said Fidone will be classified as a “tier one” sex offender under the new statute, requiring him to register for at least 10 years.

Currently, all defendants in California who are required to register as sex offenders must do so for the rest of their lives after release from custody.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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