Judges Peter B. Skelos, J.P., Ruth C. Balkin, Joseph Covello, and Sandra L. Sgroi, JJ are overseeing this case that is being heard in the Second Judicial Department, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
The People of the State of New York are the respondents in the case. The appellant in the case is Luis Gomez. The People are represented by Sharon Y. Brodt and John M. Castellano from the District Attorney’s office of Kew Gardens, New York. The appellant is represented by Rober DiDio from Kew Gardens.
A New York DWI Lawyer said the defendant is appealing a judgment that was made by the Queens County Supreme Court on the 11th of January, 2008. The judgment found the defendant guilty of rape and course of sexual conduct against a child both in the second degree, first degree sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child.
The defendant was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with his common law wife’s younger sister. The incidents occurred in between November of 1998 through May of 1999. The child was nine years old at the time the incidents occurred.
Additionally the defendant was charged with raping a child during the time frame of November through December of 2002. The incidents were not reported by the child until 2006. The child revealed the facts of the abuse to her mother at this time.
The defendant denied all of the accusations made by the victim. He stated that the child was mad at him for sending her away from Florida, where she had been living with them, to live with her mother in New York.
The defendant was convicted of rape in the second degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, course of sexual conduct against a child, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Case Discussion and Decision
The defendant is arguing on appeal that the Supreme Court committed an error that is reversible when they did not allow him to present two witnesses. A New York DWI Lawyer said the witnesses were a couple who resided in North Carolina. The husband was an old family friend according to the child.
The defense stated that the couple would have provided an account of taking the child from Florida to New York in which the child told the husband that the abuse did not occur. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said the child also told the couple that she did not want to move to New York and wished to stay in Florida with her sister and the defendant.
This account is in contrast with the testimony given by the child where she denied making these statements to the witnesses. The child stated that the conversation with the witnesses was only about how she was doing and how school was.
The Court precluded these witnesses based on the fact that the testimony would have been collateral.
After reviewing the facts of the case we find that this basis for refusing the testimony of the witnesses was made in error. For this reason the court finds in favor of the defendant. The judgment will be reversed and sent back to the Queens County Supreme Court for a new trial in the matter to be conducted.
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