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Thirteen Year Old Robbed at Knife Point

This is a case being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in New York County. The case involves the People of the State of New York versus the defendant.

Case Background

On the second of June in 2005 at around 3:20 in the afternoon, the victim, who was thirteen years old at the time, was on her way home from school. She was going down the well lit stairs of the subway station near the corner of Essex and Delancey Streets in Manhattan. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said she was descending the stairs a man she did not know approached her and asked for some change. The man stood face to face with her and she states that she did not think he was going to hurt her. She says that she looked directly at him and told him that she didn’t have any change.

The victim attempted to leave and the man jumped in front of her and placed a knife with a six inch curved blade near her throat and asked her to hand over her necklace. The victim says that he was really close to her face and she was looking right at him at the time. She says she was very scared and didn’t know what to do. She refused to give him her necklace, screaming no. He then ripped the chain from her neck and fled up the stairs.

The victim went to the subway station and reported the crime to a token clerk. A detective interviewed her at around 4:30 in his office in the transit station. He states that she seemed scared and told him she was robbed by a stranger at knife point. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said she described the man as black, in his thirties; over six feet tall, had lips that were pinkish, and was wearing a blue shirt with short sleeves and a blue bandana.

The description prompted the detective to think of the suspect as he was familiar with him from a similar robbery in the subway. The detective brought out six photos to the victim and asked if she recognized any of them. She pointed out the defendant’s photo.

On the 22nd of the victim was called to the police station to view a line up. At the line up she once again identified the defendant. A Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer said he stated that she was sure that the defendant was the person who robbed her in the subway. The defendant was arrested and charged with robbery in the first degree.

Before the trial the defendant filed a motion to have expert testimony regarding the reliability of eyewitness identification. This motion was denied, with leave to renew at the end of the case by the People. The defendant renewed the motion at the end of the People’s case and it was denied once again.

Appeal Case

The defendant appealed his conviction and the Appellate division of the court affirmed the conviction of the defendant. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said the case was then taken to the Court of Appeals where the conviction of the defendant was reversed unanimously. The reason was given that the trial court erred in not allowing the expert testimony at the end of the argument made by the People during the trial.

Court Decision

The People are appealing the order to reverse the conviction of the defendant and we agree. A new trial against the defendant is necessary.

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