The People of the State of New York are the respondents in this case. The appellant is C. James Lombardi. The case is being heard in the Court of Appeals of New York.
A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant has been convicted of three counts of kidnapping, one count of attempted rape in the first degree, three counts of assault in the second degree, and one count of attempted assault in the second degree. The defendant has been sentenced to forty years to life in prison on the kidnapping charges. There are lesser concurrent terms for the other charges.
There are similarities in the crimes that were committed by the defendant, but each involved different acts and different people. The incidents were separated by long periods of time. The indictment charged each crime as a separate matter.
The defendant worked as a travel agent and pharmacist in Manhattan. There were three occasions that the defendant hired a young woman to work for him at his travel agency. Each of the women was convinced to attend a promotional social affair of some type.
Before going on these trips the defendant would ask the young women to take a pill that he told him was a nail hardening pill and their reaction would help his business. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the pills were actually a combination of barbiturates that he had prepared.
The pill would put the women to sleep within 20 or 30 minutes, blunt their awareness of the environment, induce dizziness, and make them unstable in regard to their muscle coordination.
An expert gave the opinion that the pill would induce a feeling of inability to use full strength of the muscles. He further stated that a person would be unable to rationally cope with a situation.
It was established that the defendant would then drive the women to a hotel in Queens and attempt sexual intercourse or make sexual advances towards them. These acts are the bases of the convictions for attempted assault and rape. Proof of this is the fact that the defendant would return the women to their home after the incident.
The charge for attempted assault comes from the defendant giving pills to a policewoman. The policewoman was assigned to investigate the case. The defendant offered her a pill and she took them and left the store. A Nassau Sex Crime Lawyer said the defendant was arrested immediately. The pills were analyzed and found to cause the side effects stated above.
Case Discussion and Decision
It is found that during the trial the prosecutor repeatedly used language that attacked the defendant as well as his counsel. The trial is found to be unfair and for this reason a new trial must be granted. During the new trial the jury should be instructed that the crimes that are charged are similar in nature, but must be separately considered based on its own facts.
Additionally, the court finds that the charges of kidnapping made in the original trial should be dismissed and the new trial should consist of the charges of attempted assault and rape only. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said the kidnapping charges are unwarranted as the defendant took the women willingly and returned them to their home. The kidnapping charges are without merit.
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