Flatbush Man Convicted of Assault for Shooting Innocent 13-year Old in the Eye

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 4, 2017

 

Flatbush Man Convicted of Assault for Shooting
Innocent 13-year Old in the Eye

Second Victim, Who was the Intended Target, Shot in the Leg;
Defendant Faces up to 40 Years in Prison

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been convicted of assault for shooting a 13-year-old boy in the eye while attempting to gun down a rival. The intended target, a 24-year-old man, was struck in the leg.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant, who opened fire on a busy street in broad daylight, forever changed the life of an innocent boy who lost an eye. It’s truly a miracle that he survived. The defendant will now spend many years in prison to pay for his abhorrent actions.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Kareem Potomont, 24, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was convicted today of one count of first-degree assault, one count of first-degree attempted assault, one count of first-degree reckless endangerment and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Ruth Shillingford. Sentencing was scheduled for September 22, 2017 at which time the defendant faces up to 40 years in prison.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on April 14, 2014, at approximately 11:55 a.m., in the vicinity of Flatbush Avenue and Beverley Road, the defendant opened fire on the 24-year-old, striking him in the leg. The 13-year-old, who was waiting for a bus with his aunt and cousin, was struck in the right eye by a stray bullet.

The defendant was captured on videotape shooting the firearm and then fleeing the scene.
He was arrested three days later after being located in the basement of a house in Jamaica, Queens.

The older victim was treated for his gunshot to the leg and released. The child lost his vision in his right eye and eventually had the eye removed. He underwent multiple surgeries.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Yaniris Urraca, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Chief of VCE, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Joseph Alexis, Chief of Trials and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Mark Feldman, Senior Executive for Crime Strategies and Investigations.

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Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and New York AG Eric Schneiderman Call for ICE to End Immigration Enforcement Raids in State Courts

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

August 3, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and New York AG Eric Schneiderman Call for
ICE to End Immigration Enforcement Raids in State Courts

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today called for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop conducting raids in New York courthouses and to recalibrate their priorities so crime victims and witnesses are not targeted for removal proceedings. Instances of arrests and attempted arrests by ICE in courts have spiked approximately five-fold this year compared to 2016 and a growing number of victims have expressed reluctance to move forward with criminal prosecutions due to fear of being deported.
While ICE has designated certain locations such as schools, medical facilities and places of worship as “sensitive locations,” where it does not carry out enforcement actions, it has so far refused to designate courthouses as sensitive locations. The result is that a large segment of New Yorkers are now discouraged from appearing in state courts, including in housing disputes, to obtain orders of protection or to settle important matters such as child custody.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The federal authorities claim they are making America safe again, but the truth is that their immigration enforcement policies are making all of us less safe. We encounter more and more victims and eyewitnesses to crime who are fearful of moving forward because of immigration status, and we see arrests by ICE spiking in our courthouses, including Family Court and courts dedicated to helping human trafficking victims and those with mental health issues. We must not allow a large number of our residents to live in the shadows and stop cooperating with law enforcement – but the Trump Administration is now creating this dangerous reality. ICE should treat courthouses as sensitive locations, like it does schools and houses of worship, to allow everyone free access to our justice system and stop the chilling effect felt by victims and witnesses.”

Acting DA Gonzalez has been a leader in prosecutors’ work to protect immigrants, creating a policy this spring to offer non-citizens plea offers that avoid collateral immigration consequences, hiring two immigration attorneys to advise his staff and holding monthly Immigration Forums to educate community members about common scams and how to avoid them. On August 8, 2017 The Brooklyn DA’s Office will hold a symposium for legal professionals on the intersection of criminal law and immigration law.

The Acting District Attorney thanks the New York Immigration Coalition, the Immigrant Defense Project, the Legal Aid Society, Safe Horizon and Sanctuary for Families for their work and advocacy on immigration issues.

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Read the full press release here.

 

Lower East Side Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life in Prison for Murder and Gun Possession in Decades-Old Dispute That Started in China

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

 

Lower East Side Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life in Prison for Murder and Gun Possession in Decades-Old Dispute That Started in China

Defendant Shot Elderly Victim on Sunset Park Street, Following Encounter at Wedding

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 46-year-old man has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for murder and criminal possession of a weapon for the 2015 fatal shooting of a 68-year-old man in Sunset Park.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This was a particularly egregious and senseless murder – an elderly man who had done nothing wrong was shot in cold blood over an old dispute oceans away of which he had no part. This defendant was caught on video stalking, following and, finally, shooting this innocent victim to death in the street. Today’s lengthy sentence is just, given the horrific nature of this crime.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Wu Long Chen, 46, of the Lower East Side in Manhattan. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog to 25 years to life in prison for his conviction on one count of second-degree murder and 15 years in prison for his conviction on one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The judge ordered the sentences to run consecutive to one another. The defendant was convicted in June following a jury trial.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on December 7, 2015, at approximately 9:35 p.m., the defendant followed the victim after he left the wedding reception of a mutual friend, held at the Golden Imperial Palace restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Sunset Park. Both men had attended the wedding, but were seated at different tables.

The defendant was captured on surveillance video following the victim to Seventh Avenue and 61st Street, where he shot the victim in the head, chest and arm. When his gun jammed, the defendant dropped it and fled the scene. The victim walked into a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant, where he collapsed. He was taken by ambulance to Lutheran Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The victim, Ying Guan Chen, 68, was the father of the defendant’s former neighbors in China. Wu Long and the victim’s sons had heated arguments, decades ago in China, about Wu Long’s family building an additional floor to their property that hovered over the victim’s family’s home. Ultimately, there was a physical altercation between both families which, according to the defendant, resulted in a serious injury to one of his relatives. The defendant harbored a grudge, according to testimony, and since he couldn’t find the victim’s sons he sought retribution by killing the victim instead, even though he had no involvement in the dispute.

The defendant fled New York and was captured in Laredo, Texas on December 31, 2015, as he tried to make his way to Mexico.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Lauren Silver, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief.

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Two Brooklyn Men Sentenced to Prison for Possessing LSD, MDMA, Marijuana, Steroids, and Other Drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 28, 2017

 

Two Brooklyn Men Sentenced to Prison for Possessing
LSD, MDMA, Marijuana, Steroids, and Other Drugs

Found after Massive Marijuana Shipment from California was Seized from U-Haul Truck;
One Defendant also Possessed a Firearm in Narcotics-Filled Warehouse

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that two Brooklyn men were sentenced to five and two-and-a-half years in prison, respectively, for possessing a wide variety of drugs, including LSD, MDMA, marijuana, steroids and other illegal narcotics as well as cash and a firearm. A marijuana shipment was seized from a U-Haul truck in 2016 based on a tip from federal authorities, leading to the seizure.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These defendants were in possession of large amounts of narcotics – many of them highly dangerous – that were intended to be distributed on Brooklyn streets. We remain vigilant against all drug dealers seeking to peddle poison on the streets of Brooklyn and today’s sentence is an appropriate penalty for this crime.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendants as Philip Feng, 37, of Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, and Victor Bae, 36, of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The defendants were sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Miller pursuant to guilty pleas entered last month. Feng was sentenced to five years in prison following his plea to second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a firearm and first-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Bae was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison following his plea to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and first degree criminal possession of marijuana. The defendants were ordered to forfeit a total of $152,736 in cash.

The Acting District Attorney said that on March 9, 2016, working on a tip from the Department of Homeland Security, a New York City Police Department detective observed the defendants load boxes into a U-Haul truck at a freight distribution center on Maspeth Avenue in Brooklyn. The officer followed the truck and initiated a traffic stop on a street corner in Greenpoint. Feng, who was driving the truck with a suspended license, stated that they were moving personal items from California to a warehouse at 234 Java Street, according to the investigation.

The officer recovered approximately 350 pounds of marijuana from the truck. A subsequent search warrant of the above-mentioned warehouse recovered a loaded .22-caliber revolver, 150 pounds of marijuana, packs of PCP, hundreds of vials of steroids, 188 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms, about 200 vials of liquid THC, quantities of LSD, MDMA and methylone, liquid codeine, marijuana edibles, $152,736 in cash and drug paraphernalia. Personal items belonging to Bae and documents linking Feng to the warehouse were also recovered at the location.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jacob Uriel, of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau Grey Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Danielle Eaddy, Bureau Chief.

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Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens District Attorneys Announce Unprecedented Dismissal of Nearly 700,000 Open Summons Warrants

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

July 27, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens District Attorneys Announce
Unprecedented Dismissal of Nearly 700,000 Open Summons Warrants

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, along with Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown yesterday announced that nearly 700,000 summons warrants that are 10 years or older will be vacated in the next few weeks. The warrants in question were issued for failure to pay a ticket for a minor infraction, subjecting individuals to arrest as well as carrying other negative consequences.

The announcement marks an important step in the work of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to clear low-level summons warrants, building upon the Begin Again initiative started by the late DA Ken Thompson in 2015. Begin Again became a model for similar warrant-clearing initiatives by other District Attorney’s Offices around the City.

The dismissal of the warrants poses no risk to public safety as those individuals whose warrants are being dismissed have not been arrested in the past 10 years or their warrants would have been triggered. Furthermore, the warrants stem from summonses issued for minor infractions such as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, drinking beer in public, disorderly conduct, and being in a park after dark.

There are approximately 1.5 million open summons warrants citywide. These summons warrants, when left unresolved, subject those who have them to an automatic arrest when questioned by police on the street or during a traffic stop. They may also carry a number of negative consequences, including impeding one’s ability to apply for citizenship, to secure employment or obtain public housing, and subject undocumented immigrants to deportation.

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said, “I have been working in Brooklyn to build trust between law enforcement and the community, and to focus our resources on violent crime. Dismissing these old warrants is an important step in advancing both of these goals. The bulk of these summonses have been issued to mostly poor, black and Latino individuals, many of whom may not even be aware that they have become open warrants that could trigger an arrest for minor infractions dating back many years. Vacating these warrants enhances public safety and promotes fairness.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens District Attorneys Announce Unprecedented Dismissal of Nearly 700,000 Open Summons Warrants


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens District Attorneys Announce
Unprecedented Dismissal of Nearly 700,000 Open Summons Warrants

Staggering Backlog of Open Warrants, More Than 10 Years Old, to be Vacated Next Month Allowing Thousands of New Yorkers to Move on With Their Lives without Fear of Arrest Stemming from Low-Level Warrants Issued More Than a Decade Ago

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that nearly 700,000 summons warrants that are 10 years or older will be vacated in the next few weeks. The warrants in question were issued for failure to pay a ticket for a minor infraction, subjecting individuals to arrest as well as carrying other negative consequences.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “By asking the Court to purge these old warrants, we are removing a hindrance to many people’s lives. Those who committed minor offenses a decade ago or longer and have not been in trouble with the law pose no threat to public safety today. These warrants bog down the court system. As a judge, I handled these summonses and I dismissed many of them because they were legally insufficient. The Bronx was ground zero for summonses emanating from questionable stop-and-frisks, so purging the old warrants is a way to not only improve the lives of tens of thousands of Bronx residents but to restore the community’s trust in the criminal justice system.”

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We have been working in Brooklyn to build trust between law enforcement and the community, and to focus our resources on violent crime. Dismissing these old warrants is an important step in advancing both of these goals. The bulk of these summonses have been issued to mostly poor, Black and Latino individuals, many of whom may not even be aware that they have become open warrants that could trigger an arrest for minor infractions dating back many years. Vacating these warrants enhances public safety and promotes fairness.”

New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said, “We continually seek to strike the right balance between fairness and public safety and are confident we will be doing that when we collectively dismiss open summons warrants older than ten years en masse. In Manhattan alone, we estimate that approximately 240,000 summons warrants will be expunged through this effort, giving those New Yorkers a fresh start and a new chance to engage more fully in their communities. I applaud my colleagues in the Queens, Bronx, and Kings County DA’s Offices, as well as OCA, the NYPD, and the City Council, for their work on this issue.”
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, “The prosecution of thousands of ten year old and older summons part cases would pose serious factual and legal challenges. The NYPD has vetted the list and excluded the most flagrant violators who may still be prosecuted if apprehended. We believe the people of Queens County will be better served by focusing our resources on more serious offenses.”

The dismissal of the warrants poses no risk to public safety as those individuals whose warrants are being dismissed have not been arrested in the past 10 years or their warrants would have been triggered. Furthermore, the warrants stem from summonses issued for minor infractions such as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, drinking beer in public, disorderly conduct, and being in a park after dark.

There are approximately 1.5 million open summons warrants citywide. These summons warrants, when left unresolved, subject those who have them to an automatic arrest when questioned by police on the street or during a traffic stop. They may also carry a number of negative consequences, including impeding one’s ability to apply for citizenship, to secure employment or obtain public housing, and subject undocumented immigrants to deportation.

Approximately 143,000 warrants will be dismissed in Brooklyn; 166,000 in the Bronx; 240,000 in Manhattan; and approximately 100,000 in Queens.

The warrants will be dismissed in court proceedings in each county next month. The large-scale dismissal of the warrant backlog comes following multiple warrant forgiveness events in Brooklyn (Begin Again); Manhattan (Clean Slate) and the Bronx (Another Chance).

The dismissals follow months of work with the Office of Court Administration, the New York City Police Department and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

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Bedford-Stuyvesant Man Indicted for Murder for Fatally Stabbing Girlfriend Multiple Times

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

 

Bedford-Stuyvesant Man Indicted for Murder for
Fatally Stabbing Girlfriend Multiple Times

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 53-year-old Bedford-Stuyvesant man has been charged with murder for fatally stabbing his girlfriend, whose body was found in their apartment with numerous stab wounds.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly committed a brutally violent act against his girlfriend of over seven years. He must now stand to face justice for this horrific crime.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Anthony Bradford, 53, of Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Evelyn LaPorte on one count of second-degree murder and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on September 28, 2017. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on the evening of July 2, 2017, between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m., the defendant and the victim, his girlfriend of over seven years, returned home from a barbecue with the defendant’s family on Monroe Street, around the corner from the defendant’s and victim’s apartment. At approximately 11:30 p.m. that night, the defendant returned to his family’s home with blood on his clothes and with cuts on his hands. His family called for an ambulance.

According to the investigation, paramedics soon arrived and began treating the defendant’s wounds, during which, they learned that there was another person injured. At this point, the defendant’s sons directed the paramedics around the corner to the defendant’s building on Gates Avenue. There the paramedics found a trail of blood from the main door all the way up to the fourth floor apartment where the defendant and the victim lived. When the paramedics entered the apartment, they found the victim in the bedroom in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds to her chest, shoulders and arms. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The defendant was arrested a short time later in front of his family’s home on Monroe Street.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Willie Johnson, of the 79th Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Alexander Grandstaff, of the Brooklyn North Homicide Squad.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sabeeha Madni, of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaminsky, Bureau Chief.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Former Employee of Williamsburg Pharmacy and Wife Indicted for Stealing $3.7 million from Owners in Eight-year Embezzlement Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

 

Former Employee of Williamsburg Pharmacy and Wife Indicted
For Stealing $3.7 million from Owners in Eight-year Embezzlement Scheme

Took Advantage of Sick Absentee Owners; Opened Fraudulent Business Accounts, Deposited Insurance Money and Used it for Travel, Mortgages and other Personal Expenses

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Queens husband and wife have been indicted on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records and identity theft for allegedly stealing nearly $3.7 million over eight years from the sick absentee owners of a Williamsburg pharmacy where the husband worked. The defendants allegedly deposited insurance payments to the pharmacy into fraudulent accounts they had created and spent the money on a wide range of personal expenses.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These defendants allegedly committed a theft not only on a huge scale – amounting to almost $3.7 million over eight years – but also in a reprehensible manner, taking advantage of their seriously ill employers who had entrusted them with the family business. With today’s indictment, we plan to hold the defendants fully accountable for their shameful acts.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendants as Jorge Vergara, 43, and his wife, Vanhia Narvaez, 44, both of Jackson Heights, Queens. The defendants were arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Evelyn LaPorte on one count of first-degree grand larceny, four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, four counts of first-degree falsifying business records and four counts of first-degree identity theft. The defendants were ordered held on $2.5 million bail and to return to court on September 6, 2017. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count with which they are charged.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, in 2007, Rafael Abreu, the owner of Gardner’s Pharmacy, located at 371 Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, became severely ill and unable to run the business. Soon after, in April of that year, Power of Attorney was granted to Abreu’s daughter, Gloria Adorno, making her Principal of Gardner’s Pharmacy. Adorno, however, was becoming increasingly responsible for the care of her father and decided to leave much of the pharmacy’s operation to defendant Vergara, the pharmacy’s long-time manager. Soon, Adorno became ill herself, and Vergara took over all day-to-day operation of the business.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants allegedly used the money for a range of personal expenses, including payments on personal credit card bills, auto loans, school tuition, mortgages, checks to their personal accounts and extensive domestic travel, to casinos and numerous vacation destinations around the country, including Disney World. The defendants even used the money to help finance a competing pharmacy that Vergara opened on the same block as Gardner’s Pharmacy.

According to the indictment, starting in February 2008, shortly after Vergara took over regular operation of the business, and continuing over the course of approximately eight years, the defendants allegedly used the identity of Gardner’s Pharmacy, as well as forged New York State Department of State documents, to open four fraudulent business checking accounts in Gardner’s Pharmacy’s name – all without the permission and authority of Abreu or Adorno. Over that time, the defendants allegedly deposited 934 checks made out to Gardner’s Pharmacy, totaling $3,697,399.35, into these accounts. These checks were insurance company payments to Gardner’s Pharmacy, resulting from prescription medications customers bought at the pharmacy using their health insurance.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants allegedly opened the first fraudulent account in February 2008 at Commerce Bancorp (now TD bank), which they opened by Vergara misrepresenting himself as President of Gardner’s Pharmacy Inc. The defendants deposited $426,588.70 in insurance checks made out to Gardner’s Pharmacy Inc. into this account between February 2008 and June 2009, withdrawing all but approximately $12,000. In June 2009, the defendants allegedly opened a second account, with Everbank, this time forging Abreu’s signature. They deposited and withdrew at least $1,706,517.20 in insurance checks via this account between June 2009 and November 2012. The next month, in December 2012, the defendants allegedly opened a third account, at Bank of Internet, again forging Abreu’s signature and going on to deposit and withdraw $628,562.31 until March 2014. Finally, in May 2014, the defendants opened a fourth account, at Flushing Bank, forging Abreu’s signature on documents. The defendants deposited $935,731.14 into the account until November 2015, with withdrawals continuing until the account was virtually empty in March 2016.

According to the indictment, Adorno was alerted to the alleged embezzlement sometime after Vergara resigned from the pharmacy. At this point, as Adorno was spending more time managing the business, she began to notice mail and other documents from banks she didn’t recognize.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Kenneth Giallanza, of the 90th Precinct Detectives Squad.

The case was also investigated by Supervising Financial Investigator Deborah Wey, of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney James Mariani, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Cooper Gorrie, both of the District Attorney’s Cyber Crimes Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Dana Roth, Deputy Chief of the Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Man who Raped and Robbed Sex Worker in Borough Park Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 24, 2017

 

Man who Raped and Robbed Sex Worker in Borough Park
Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Defendant and Second Man Duct Taped Victim, Who Was Then Raped and Robbed

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 30-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a violent attack in which he assaulted, raped and robbed a woman inside of an apartment. A second man has also been convicted in connection with the case.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant ruthlessly and viciously attacked a vulnerable woman, knowing that she would be an easy target. He has now been held accountable and will serve many years in prison.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Robert Hernandez, 30, of Brooklyn. He was convicted on June 12, 2017 of first-degree rape, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree assault following a jury trial. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Joanne Quinones to 20 years in prison and 20 years’ post-release supervision.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on July 13, 2015, at about 3:15 p.m., the defendant, Robert Hernandez, arrived at an apartment on 51st Street in Borough Park, for a scheduled appointment with a 52-year-old sex worker who he had seen previously. The victim let him into the apartment, and then Hernandez let in another man, his co-defendant, Joel Lopez, 29.

Hernandez then pushed the woman to the floor, and he and Lopez duct taped her hands and feet and mouth and removed her underwear. Hernandez threatened to set her on fire if she didn’t stop struggling. They moved her to the bed and Hernandez raped her while Lopez held her legs above her head.

The defendants then stole two cell phones, a laptop and cash from the victim and fled. The victim then called her escort service, which called police. Both defendants were arrested three months later, following an investigation.

Lopez pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary on April 19, 2017 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on May 11, 2017.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Gwen Barnes and Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Payne, both of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief.

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Coney Island Man Indicted for Killing his 16-Month-Old Daughter

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

July 17, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Coney Island Man Indicted for Killing his 16-Month-Old Daughter

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 19-year-old man from Coney Island has been indicted on murder, assault and other charges for causing the death of his 16-month-old daughter, Nylah Lewis. He was previously charged with assault and charges were upgraded following the child’s death.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendant, Shaquan Taylor, 19, took custody of his daughter Nylah starting on June 16, 2017. On June 18, Father’s Day, he contacted the toddler’s 17-year-old mother via Facebook Messenger and asked her to pick Nylah up from his West 32nd Street home.

The mother found the child unresponsive and told the defendant to call 911, but he refused, the investigation found. The mother took Nylah out of the apartment and the defendant allegedly struck her, handed the child to a bystander and continued to assault the mother, who had an order of protection against him based on a previous incident, according to the indictment. Nylah died five days later at the hospital.

When interviewed by detectives, the defendant claimed that Nylah fell from the bed. Her injuries are allegedly inconsistent with such a fall.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This father was supposed to protect his innocent baby daughter but instead he allegedly violently and senselessly took her life and then assaulted her mother when she tried to come to her rescue. I intend to hold him fully accountable for this unspeakable crime.”

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An indictment is only an accusatory instrument and is not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Read the full press release here.