On 1 December 1983, the County Court of Suffolk County rendered judgment convicting a certain defendant of attempted rape in the first degree and attempted rape in the second degree, after a nonjury trial. Criminal sex crimes.
On appeal, the Appellate Court affirmed the County Court’s decision.
Here, the proof adduced at trial established beyond a reasonable doubt that on 4 May 1982, at approximately 7:30 A.M., the defendant, who was well known to the 11-year-old victim, went into the victim’s bedroom, hit her with a belt and attempted to rape her. The defendant wiped his penis on the victim’s jeans. The victim’s testimony describing this incident was independently corroborated by her mother’s testimony that the defendant was the only adult in the house the morning of the incident, as well as by the testimony of her two brothers who saw the defendant go into the victim’s bedroom that morning with a belt and heard her crying from behind closed doors. What’s more, the Deputy Director of the Suffolk County crime laboratory testified that he analyzed the stains found on the child’s jeans and panties as well as samples of the defendant’s blood and saliva and the tests revealed that the same enzymes were present. The expert offered the opinion that the enzymes found in the panties stain matched only 3.8% of the population, while those found in the jeans stain matched only 8.6% of the population. This is domestic violence.
Based upon the records of the case, the corroborating evidence was indeed legally sufficient to provide the necessary link between the defendant and the crime. In addition, upon the exercise of the court’s factual review power, it was satisfied that the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence. The defendant’s testimony was fraught with inconsistencies and clearly contradicted by that of the victim and her mother. The defendant’s remaining claims were also considered but found to be meritless.
Meanwhile, on 6 May 1985, the County Court of Suffolk County rendered judgment convicting another defendant of rape in the first degree (two counts), sodomy in the first degree (two counts), and kidnapping in the second degree, upon a jury verdict.
On appeal, the defendant brought up for review the denial, after a hearing, of that branch of his omnibus motion which was to suppress statements made by him to law enforcement authorities. The Appellate Court affirmed the County Court’s decision.
Here, the defendant was charged and jointly tried with a codefendant as an accomplice, inter alia, for the rape, sodomy, and child kidnapping of the complainant. The defendant was originally apprehended in New Jersey where, after having been advised of his Miranda rights, he made oral statements to New Jersey State Troopers which tended to inculpate him in the acts of which he was eventually found guilty after a trial in New York. While still in the custody of the New Jersey State Police, the defendant voluntarily went to New York, where he spoke with Suffolk County Police personnel and repeated his inculpatory statements after having been advised again of his Miranda rights. All of the defendant’s statements were admitted into evidence at trial.
According to the defendant, all of his statements should have been suppressed on the ground that there was an excessive delay in his arraignment in New Jersey where he was charged with possession of drugs and other charges, and that the New York admissions were obtained in violation of his right to counsel.
As held in the landmark cases of People v. Prochilo and People v. Norris, and according great weight to the determination of the hearing court, the delay in the defendant’s New Jersey arraignment was not unnecessary, nor was it designed to afford an opportunity for pre-arraignment interrogation or otherwise calculated to deprive defendant of his right to counsel. Further, the statements obtained from the defendant in New York were not obtained in violation of his right to counsel, as the record clearly demonstrated that the defendant was not represented by counsel on the then pending New Jersey criminal charges. Thus, a valid waiver of the right to counsel was possible. The hearing court properly denied suppression of the defendant’s statements.
Based on the records of the case, it was indeed legally sufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Upon the exercise of the court’s factual review power, it was satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence. The defendant’s remaining contentions were also considered but found to be without merit.
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