FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Private Investigator and Two Others Indicted on Charges of Witness Tampering and Unlawful Surveillance for Allegedly Trying to Keep Victim of Child Sexual Assaults From Testifying Against her Alleged Abuser
Defendants Allegedly Recorded Compromising Images of Victim’s Family Member
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a private detective, Vincent Parco, an associate and a client have been indicted for allegedly trying to influence a woman to stop cooperating in the prosecution of a man who allegedly sexually abused her as a child.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These defendants allegedly engaged in an illicit and disturbing scheme in an attempt to obstruct justice. They have now been exposed and I intend to hold them accountable. I would also like to commend the victim and her family for their courage in resisting the alleged extortion and reporting it to my office.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendants as Vincent Parco, 67, of Manhattan; Tanya Freudenthaler, 41, of Manhattan; and Samuel Israel, 45, of Borough Park, Brooklyn. They were arraigned today on the indictment before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew J. D’Emic. Israel is charged with first- and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child. All of the defendants are variously charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance, third- and fourth-degree promoting prostitution; first-degree dissemination of an unlawful surveillance image, fourth-degree tampering with a witness, and second-degree criminal contempt.
Justice D’Emic set bail at $150,000 for Israel and released Parco and Freudenthaler without bail. He ordered them to return to court on October 20, 2017.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on March 2, 2016, Israel was arrested and subsequently indicted for sexually abusing a woman when she was 12 years old. He was arraigned and bail was set at $100,000 cash or $50,000 bond, which he posted. He was offered a plea to five years’ prison and 10 years’ post-release supervision, which he rejected. An order of protection was issued forbidding him to contact the victim or her family.
In July 2016, according to the investigation, Israel hired Vincent Parco, who owns a private investigative firm, to surreptitiously record embarrassing video images of a family member of the victim to allegedly get the victim to stop cooperating against Israel. He was allegedly paid approximately $17,000.
It is alleged that on December 17, 2016, Tanya Freudenthaler, after being enlisted by Parco, lured the family member to a hotel room in Sunset Park, where she and Parco had installed video recording equipment. She allegedly also hired a prostitute, who she recorded having sex with the family member. The equipment malfunctioned, so Freudenthaler allegedly set up another encounter two days later, on December 19, 2016.
Freudenthaler hired the same prostitute for the second encounter, as well as a second prostitute. The family member was secretly recorded with both women.
On January 6, 2017, Israel appeared in court, was offered the same plea he had been offered earlier in the case, and rejected it. On January 17, 2017, the family member recorded at the hotel was approached by a stranger wearing a scarf who showed him a cell phone video of the hotel encounter and stated: “Be smart. Stop making trouble.” The family member reported the incident to the DA’s office.
Israel’s case proceeded and a trial date was set for June 26, 2017. On June 22, 2017, a stranger approached another member of the victim’s family and showed that person a cell phone containing video from the hotel.
Finally, a third person contacted the family member and allegedly offered to act as a mediator, offering to obtain the video from Israel and destroy it and to obtain a statement from Israel admitting to his crimes as “insurance” in the event the video gets released but he cautioned the family member not to report any of this to the authorities.
This was also reported to the DA’s office and on June 26, 2017, investigators from the District Attorney’s office executed a search warrant at the third party’s home and recovered the video of the hotel encounter and a statement in which Israel makes some admissions as to improperly touching the victim.
Videos of the encounter were also recovered from Parco’s office computer, pursuant to a search warrant, and he subsequently admitted that he was hired by Israel.
The case was investigated by Detective Investigator Sam Chen, under the supervision of Supervising Detective Investigators Michael Seminara and Phil O’Rourke and Deputy Chief William Pettie, and the overall supervision of Chief Investigator Joseph Piraino, of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau. KCDA Investigative Analyst Janelle Cacopardo assisted in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Gwen Barnes of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Adam S. Libove, of the District Attorneys Public Integrity Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Michael Spanakos, Chief of the Public Integrity Unit, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Mark Feldman, Senior Executive for Crime Strategies and Investigations.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.