In almost no time, life for Kutjim Nicaj has become very small. Only two weeks ago, Nicaj was just the property superintendent at Rye Colony Apartments– a job he has held for about six years. Over time, he got to know most of the residents by name and worked in just about every unit of the complex.
Then on February 9, Nicaj was arrested and charged with burglary and sexual misconduct. A tenant alleges Nicaj burglarized their residence and had improper contact with their dog. Following the arrest, Nicaj was arraigned in Rye City Court and posted $100,000 bail.
Nicaj denies the charges and, according to his attorney Steven Davidson, has no prior arrest record or contentious past with the tenant who reported the burglary. Nicaj is anxious to defend himself against the lurid charges made against him. “He might have to wait,” said his attorney, who anticipates his client’s March 6 hearing date to be one of many more to come.
Despite the potentially long process ahead of him and the pressure wrought by national media interest, Nicaj is not making a statement to the press at this time about the charges.
“He has no intention of fighting this in the press,” said Davidson. “We’re only responding [to Rye Patch] as a matter of courtesy, we’re not seeking to perpetuate [the media coverage].”
Davidson said he responded to calls from Rye Patch, and other local media, for only one reason: “[Nicaj] wants to show people in his own community he’s got nothing to hide. He’s going to exonerate himself or be exonerated in the courtroom.”
Other published reports claim there is videotape evidence of the alleged break-in and incident, but Davidson cannot refute those claims or respond to those stories. “I am told there is [a videotape],” Davidson said, but that evidence has not been made available to him.
“I can’t comment on something I haven’t seen,” said Davidson. “I don’t know how anybody can comment on video or alleged reports or specific reports…nothing has been released, everything is speculation.”
According to Davidson, the only case that exists right now “consists of two or three sheets of paper”– the two criminal charges and an order of protection.
Since his arrest on February 9, attorney Steven Davidson said his client’s outlook is “very poor, very sad.” After his arrest, Nicaj lost his superintendent job and has been told to vacate his family’s housing at Rye Colony.
“The notoriety the case has caused has not made it easy for him,” said Davidson. “He’s doing the best he can right now.”
Nicaj has been searching, so far in vain, for a new job and housing to accommodate his family, including his two school-age children.
The impact on Nicaj’s family has also been devastating. Davidson said Nicaj’s two daughters are also struggling with the strain of the situation, an unfair burden upon them. “They are in the middle of their school semester,” said the attorney. “They need to concentrate on being teenagers.”
Davidson says Nicaj is an American citizen and that he has lived in Rye for about 15 years, working at the Rye Colony Apartments for about six years.
Despite his history in the community, Nicaj has not found any job or housing leads yet. “I’m hopeful he will find something soon,” said Davidson. “That would be helpful.”