Local blogger Jon Nicosia also happens to have a long history as a con artist. He came out today, because Capital New York has been reporting on him, and he wanted to get “ahead of the story.” (He works for a site called Mediaite, a publication of, by and for TV talking face Dan Abrams.)
In one incarnation, Nicosia—whose name is Zachary Hildreth—swindled investors in a fairly classic investment con. (At 24, he was indicted on 11 counts of grand larceny; then, in January of 2001, he was indicted for two counts of larceny.)
In a later and more disturbing incarnation, he serially seduced gay men, stole their money, and then, when confronted, turned “violent and abusive.”
In his “confession” today, Hildreth writes: “in 2005, I was back in the spotlight when my ex-boyfriend was charged with a crime against me (he was found not guilty).” That’s a pretty short summary. In general, when you read Nicosia’s story, you think: hey, good for him! It’s great when people move on with their lives! (And that is true, and I hope he has.) But mostly you get that sensation because it’s a fairly self-serving story. (As all our stories of ourselves are, sure.)
In 2006, Hildreth actually testified in trial against one of the men he’d conned, who was up on assault charges, because Hildreth said he was attacked; a “jury will decide whether a former emergency room physician from Weymouth charged with slashing the neck of his boyfriend with a shard of glass was an assailant or a victim,” wrote the The Patriot Ledger. So yes, at this trial, Hildreth’s boyfriend was found not guilty of attacking him. But the trial was as nasty as can be, with the attorney for Hildreth painting the boyfriend as a crazy drug addict who believed in aliens. (The boyfriend “said it was Hildreth who talked of aliens from space, at one point claiming to be one, and that he did not believe him.”)
Can you imagine getting charged with assault and losing your license to do your job and then being painted as a crazy in court, all because you started sleeping with some dude you met online who was lying about his name and pretty much everything else?
In any event, that doctor is practicing medicine today, which makes it pretty obvious that Hildreth was just devoted to the con and would say anything to ruin his life. Bay Windows made a pretty convincing case about how this situation was a classic example of law enforcement being unable to identify the aggressor in same-sex domestic abuse situations. Hildreth, totally unable to let it go, then filed a civil suit against the doctor. Pretty sick shit.
On the afternoon of January 9th, Nicosia sent out a mass email. (He did not respond to solicitations to speak on the record; his employers would only communicate via vague and sweeping off-the-record emails, but I think it’s safe to say that they wished to dispute these characterizations, which were previously reported by the former incarnation of the now-defunct Blade.) Here is his statement in full, which adds to the record that there was a settlement in the civil suit mentioned above, but does not elaborate on any other incidents.
Following my confession about past bad behavior in my life there has been an enormous amount of reporting into my background and past. Some of it true, much of it inaccurate. I felt my heartfelt piece placed on the record was everything I wanted to say.
But some of these stories have accused me of wrongdoing and even criminal conduct in connection with a 2005 incident with my then boyfriend. The record is clear that he, not I, was prosecuted and tried for assault with a deadly weapon. To this day I live with the physical scars from that incident.
This was the same district attorney’s office that had prosecuted me previously for crimes I described in my piece. There is no doubt that if they thought or even suspected that I had engaged in criminal conduct, I would have been the one on trial, not him. My boyfriend was eventually acquitted and we settled a civil lawsuit I filed against him. We have both moved on with our lives. Again, I am trying to move on with mine.