Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

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The defendant, who has been charged in Bronx County with failing to register with the Sex Offender Monitoring Unit in New York County, has moved for dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the court lacks geographic jurisdiction over this prosecution because the defendant’s alleged failure to register occurred in New York County. The defendant’s motion is denied, however, because of the material effect of the alleged failure on Bronx County. As explained below, such effect is a statutory basis for jurisdiction in Bronx County.

A Bronx County Criminal lawyer said that according to a superseding complaint dated December 1, 1999, the defendant, who had previously been convicted of attempted sexual abuse in the first degree, failed to comply with the registration requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) in violation of Correction Law § 168-t. Specifically, a police officer alleged in the complaint that on July 29, 1999, the defendant failed to verify his registration personally with the Sex Offender Monitoring Unit (SOMU), located at 314 West 40th Street, New York, New York, as he was required to do. Further, the officer alleged that the defendant resided in Bronx County and that the SOMU was “the sole designated law enforcement agency for the five boroughs of New York City” at which a sex crimes offender may register or verify his registration.

The issue before this court is whether these allegations are sufficient to sustain this court’s geographic jurisdiction.

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This is a proceeding wherein the respondent has moved to vacate the court’s order dated 21 February 2007 which, upon his consent, extends his placement with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services as a juvenile delinquent for twelve months and directs that OCFS continue respondent’s present placement with LW, an authorized agency within the meaning of Social Services Law §371 (10).

Respondent contends that: (i) the Family Court was without jurisdiction to extend placement; (ii) the proceedings were defective in that the Court did not have the authority to reconvert the proceeding from a Person in Need of Supervision proceeding to a juvenile delinquency proceeding; and (iii) even assuming that the Court had jurisdiction to extend placement with OCFS that placement could not be extended beyond his 18th birthday without his consent.

On 14 September 2004, by petition filed pursuant to Family Court Act §310.1 on 14 September 2004, respondent was alleged to have committed acts which, were he an adult, would constitute the crimes of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree and Menacing in the Third Degree.

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In 2004, petitioner-appellant pleaded guilty to a federal possession of child pornography offense. The Court is tasked to determine whether the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders erred when it concluded that petitioner’s conviction in a foreign jurisdiction required him to register under New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).

A New York Criminal attorney said that federal agents executed a search warrant at petitioner’s home, seizing his computer. Examination of the computer revealed that petitioner had knowingly purchased a subscription to an Internet site that was tailored to appeal to individuals with a sexual interest in children. Petitioner acknowledged to federal authorities that, over a period of four or five months, he downloaded and viewed numerous images depicting children ages 7 to 17 years engaged in sexual acts.

In November 2004, petitioner pleaded guilty in United States District Court for the Western District of New York to a possession of child pornography offense and was sentenced to five years probation with 24 days of electronic monitoring.

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This criminal case arises from proceedings charging defendants with multiple counts of obscenity in the third degree based upon their knowing possession, with intent to promote, of allegedly obscene video cassette films. After arraignment, defendants moved to suppress the films contending that the warrant authorizing seizure was not based on probable cause. Justice Court granted the motion and dismissed the informations. County Court affirmed its order and a Judge of this court granted the People leave to appeal. Upon review we addressed both procedural and substantive issues.

A New York Sex Crimes attorney said that the procedural issue concerned the extent of the inquiry a magistrate must make before issuing a warrant to seize materials that may enjoy First Amendment protection. Inasmuch as the magistrate had not viewed the films nor questioned the police but rather relied solely on the police officer’s affidavit for each film, the substantive issue posed was whether the affidavits presented sufficient evidence to enable the magistrate to make an objective determination that there existed probable cause to seize the films because they constituted the fruits, instrumentalities or evidence of a crime.

Applying established law, the Court resolved the procedural issue by stating that the determination of probable cause had to be made by the magistrate, not the police that it had to be made from information submitted or available to him, and that–because the materials presumptively enjoyed First Amendment protection–the magistrate was required to perform his duty with “scrupulous exactitude”

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Petitioners in these three appeals each seek to compel the respondent police departments to comply with their Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for records pertaining to the sex crimes for which they were convicted. Petitioners requested the documents for use in collateral review of their convictions. The police departments, citing Civil Rights Law § 50-b (1), refused the requests in their entirety. Civil Rights Law § 50-b (1) prohibits disclosure by a government employee of any portion of a police report, court file or other document which tends to identify the victim of a sex crime. Petitioners commenced CPLR article 78 proceedings to compel the police departments to comply with their requests arguing that, although section 50-b (1) bars disclosure of information that tends to identify the victim of a sex crime, the exception in section 50-b (2) (a) allowing disclosure to persons “charged” with a sex offense applied to them. The Appellate Division panels have concluded that the term “charged” should be read to apply to the petitioners.

A New York Criminal lawyer said that in 1985, Respondent was convicted in Supreme Court of rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and burglary. He challenged his conviction in a CPL article 440 motion which Supreme Court denied. The Appellate Division affirmed the conviction as well as denial of the CPL article 440 motion. In March 1994, Respondent made a FOIL request to the New York City Police Department for 25 categories of police reports pertaining to his case, which the Police Department denied. Respondent commenced the present article 78 proceeding to compel disclosure. He allegedly seeks these documents in order to file a federal habeas corpus petition. Supreme Court ordered disclosure of the documents and the Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that the petitioner was similarly situated to a person charged with a crime.

In the second case, respondent was convicted in Supreme Court of rape, sodomy and assault in 1988. His conviction was affirmed on appeal. Respondent made three applications for a writ of error coram nobis, which were denied, as well as three unsuccessful motions. Recently, Respondent in federal court prays for a writ of habeas corpus. Although an evidentiary hearing is pending, the federal court has summarily denied all but one of Respondent’s claims of error at his trial. He made his FOIL request to the New York City Police Department, seeking nine categories of reports. The Police Department denied the request under Civil Rights Law § 50-b (1). However, Respondent made another, contemporaneous FOIL request to the District Attorney’s Office seeking substantially the same material, and the District Attorney complied. Respondent brought the present article 78 proceeding to compel the Police Department to disclose its records. He claims they are relevant to the issues raised in his CPL article 440 and federal habeas corpus proceedings. The Supreme Court ordered the Police Department to deliver the records and the Appellate Division, citing its decision in Respondent, affirmed.

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In May 1995, the Respondent was sentenced in New York County Supreme Court for convictions of Kidnapping in the Second Degree, Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree and Bail Jumping in the First Degree. He received concurrent indeterminate sentences of 9-18 years incarceration on the kidnapping charge, 4-8 years on the promoting prostitution charge and 3-6 years on the bail jumping charge. According to the State, Respondent’s kidnapping and promoting prostitution charges included conduct in which he restrained the victim, repeatedly raped her, forced her to engage in prostitution, beat her and forced her to ingest narcotics. These acts allegedly occurred in 1992. The Respondent also has prior convictions for unlawful imprisonment, attempted assault and forcing a person to engage in prostitution.

A New York Criminal attorney said that a sex offender civil management petition was filed in Greene County Supreme Court and an amended petition was filed in New York County Supreme Court. The Respondent was in custody pursuant to his sentence at the time of the filing of the initial petition and has been in since that time. In February 2010, the Justice found that there was probable cause to believe that the Respondent was a detained sex offender who suffered from a mental abnormality. The venue of the instant proceeding was subsequently transferred to this Court where the Respondent is awaiting trial.

Article 10 of the Mental Hygiene Law creates a comprehensive system to subject certain sex offenders to indefinite civil confinement or indefinite strict and intensive supervision and treatment. The challenges made here concern a unique category of sex offenses which were created for the first time in New York law by SOMTA and are denominated as “sexually motivated” felonies. A “sexually motivated” felony is one of a list of non-sexual felonies, including, robbery, burglary and kidnapping which “were committed in whole or in substantial part for the purpose of direct sexual gratification of the actor”.

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This Sex Crimes which resulted in respondent being eligible for sex offender civil management occurred in 1993 and led to a conviction in 1994 for Attempted Rape in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and Burglary in the First Degree.

A New York Criminal attorney said that Respondent had been on a rooftop where he was looking at a woman in an apartment across the street, using cocaine and masturbating. He entered the victim’s apartment through a window, took a knife from the apartment, got on top of the previously sleeping victim and placed her hand on his penis. The Respondent at this point indicated that he could not become aroused. The victim threw Respondent off of her bed. He then fled from the apartment and took a purse from her. This was the only incident in which it was known, prior to the Respondent’s placement on Strict and Intensive Supervision and Treatment (“SIST”), that he had engaged in a sex offense involving physical contact with a victim.

Respondent did, prior to being placed on SIST, have an extensive history of exhibitionism. Typically, this would involve him masturbating in public places while his penis was partially exposed to public view. It is clear from his history that he has engaged in such conduct on a large number of occasions over an extensive period of time. Prior to this Court’s probable cause determination, he had been diagnosed as suffering from exhibitionism, voyeurism and cocaine dependence. This last diagnosis was found to be in sustained full remission. Prior to being placed on SIST, Respondent also had a long history of burglary, trespassing and theft related arrests and convictions.

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This is a proceeding wherein the court is faced with the issue of whether or not its discretion as authorized in People v Kalin to deem a misdemeanor complaint charging a drug-related offense to be an information in the absence of a field test or laboratory analysis violate the defendant’s constitutional right to due process.

Pursuant to Penal Law § 220.03, the defendant is charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a class A misdemeanor. In the Criminal Court complaint, a paralegal with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office states that she is informed by Police Officer KK that on or about 19 April 2009, at 7:32 P.M. at 390 Nostrand Avenue, County of Kings, City and State of New York, defendant was in possession of crack cocaine. In the same complaint the police officer’s professional training in the identification of crack cocaine was cited.

On 28 April 2009, the defendant was arraigned. At that time, the People filed a supporting deposition signed by Officer KK, which identified the contraband seized as a glass pipe containing crack cocaine residue. The People then asked that the complaint be deemed an information, pursuant to Kalin.

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Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department. At all times relevant to these proceedings, respondent maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department.

A New York Criminal attorney said in November 2006, respondent was served with a notice and statement of charges alleging that he engaged in illegal conduct that adversely reflected on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer, and further engaged in conduct that adversely reflected on his fitness as a lawyer. Both charges arose from respondent’s guilty plea in Supreme Court, Suffolk County, to the crime of attempted criminal sex act in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor. Underlying the guilty plea was respondent’s admission that he engaged in sexually explicit conversations over an Internet chat room with an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl, followed by his attempted meeting with the presumed minor for purposes of sexual contact. Respondent filed an answer in this proceeding, admitting the charges and requesting a hearing on mitigation.

A hearing was held before a Referee. For the most part, the dissent has accurately stated the evidence adduced at the hearing, which will not be repeated herein. The only omission was the testimony of two character witnesses. The first character witness, the chair of the intellectual property practice at a law firm, testified that he first met respondent in 1998, when he was respondent’s supervising criminal attorney at a New York City law firm. After his arrest, respondent called this attorney and told him what he had done. The witness testified that respondent had a reputation for honesty and integrity, notwithstanding the events leading to his conviction, and that respondent has a pending job offer with his current firm once these disciplinary proceedings are concluded. A second character witness testified that she grew up with respondent, and was close friends with his sister. She further testified that she had kept in touch with respondent, who had a reputation for being a smart and honest person, even after his conviction.

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This is a proceeding wherein the Attorney General of the State of New York filed a petition on 19 July 2010 contending that Criminal Respondent RV is a detained sex offender who has a mental abnormality as that term is defined in Article 10 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law, § 10.03, such that Respondent should be confined or supervised by the Office of Mental Health once his prison sentence is completed.

On 7 February 2011, Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition contending that he was not convicted of any sex crime and that the provision in Article 10, Section 10.07(c) that would allow a jury to determine whether Respondent’s robbery and attempted robbery convictions were “sexually motivated” is unconstitutional in that it violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. Respondent asserts that Section 10.07(c). The relevant provision of the criminal statute and its concomitant definitional paragraphs serve to retroactively transform a non- sex crime into a new “sexually motivated felony” and that it increases the punishment for the prior crime.

The court denies respondent’s motion to dismiss.

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