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Defendant Claims Charges Should Not Have Been Combined

The People of the State of New York is the respondent in the case. The appellant in the matter is Morris Pinkas, also referred to as Morris Pinkasovitz. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Second Department.

The defendant is appealing an order made by the Queens County Supreme Court. The order was made on the 13th of June, 1988 and convicted the defendant of sexual abuse in the first degree, attempted rape in the first degree, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Case Background

The defendant was indicted for the crimes of endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse in the first degree under an indictment numbered 2165/86. The charges from this indictment came from an incident that occurred on the 21st of March, 1986 and involved a girl who was ten years old. Over a year later the defendant was indicted for endangering the welfare of a child and attempted rape in the first degree under an indictment numbered 3701/87. The second indictment involved a different girl and happened on the 21st of May, 1987.

The Supreme Court made an order to combine the two indictments. This was based on the fact that the crimes were similar in law.

Case Discussion

By combining the charges of the two indictments into one indictment it is felt that the Supreme Court abused their discretion. Each of the incidents that occurred was separate incidents and there was no testimony provided in the case to show that there were commonalities in both cases. There was no factual evidence provided in the matter that would be admitted in both cases.

In the first incident there were two witnesses who knew the defendant. In the second incident the defendant was caught and held by two different witnesses.

The prosecution has argued that the defendant has not made a claim to the order that granted the consolidation of the cases. Records show that the motion consists of a notice of motion only, a short order form, and an affidavit given by the Assistant District Attorney.

The most questionable part of the case is the fact that the order is dated nearly five weeks before the return date of the motion and it only shows an indication that the motion was opposed by the counsel of the defendant. A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said the defense counsel motioned for a mistrial in the case and brought forth the contentions of the case to the trial judge.

Court Decision

After reviewing the facts of the case the court is reversing the original judgment in the matter in the interest of justice. The matter will be remitted to the Queens County Supreme Court for separate trials on the indictments.

It is felt that the defendant’s right to a fair trial was compromised in the matter by combining the separate crimes into one indictment. These two incidents occurred nearly a year apart and one had nothing to do with the other. A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said the crimes were similar in nature, but the defendant has a right to a fair trial in each of the instances.

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