Former East Williamsburg Assistant Principal Convicted of Raping Former Student


Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

September 26, 2016


Former East Williamsburg Assistant Principal Convicted of
Raping Former Student

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 47-year-old Queens man has been convicted of third-degree rape for abusing a former student at Progress High School for Professional Careers, in East Williamsburg, where he served as an assistant principal..

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, between June 17, 2009 and July 31, 2009, the victim—then a 17-year-old recent graduate of Progress High School—worked in the defendant’s school office during the 2009 summer school session. The defendant, William Abreu, began making inappropriate sexual advances to the teenager. Aware of the victim’s status as an undocumented immigrant, Abreu threatened to contact immigration authorities if she did not comply and then proceeded to grope and rape her. He further threatened immigration action if the victim did not continue to work for him.

Abreu was fired by the New York City Department of Education in November 2013.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant was an assistant principal who violated the trust of a vulnerable teenager when he coerced her to engage in an unwanted sex act using her immigration status as leverage. This young woman had the courage to speak out against this abuse. He’s now been held accountable for his deplorable actions.”


Read the full press release here.

Williamsburg Man Convicted of Gang Assault


Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

September 23, 2016


Williamsburg Man Convicted of Gang Assault

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 24-year-old man from Williamsburg, Brooklyn was convicted of gang assault and related charges for his role in the brutal beating of Taj Patterson, a young man who was walking in the street when he was set upon by over a dozen people.

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Mayer Herskovic, 24, of Williamsburg. He was convicted today of second-degree gang assault and related charges and faces 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on December 1, 2013, at about 4:40 a.m., Taj Patterson was walking on Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg when a man, later joined by other men, started to chase him. The victim ran, but the group, eventually comprising 15 to 20 men, caught up to him near the corner of Flushing Avenue and Spencer Street.

The victim was then punched, kicked, stomped and had his eye poked by members of the group, according to testimony. He suffered facial fractures, retinal damage and lost eyesight in his right eye.

In the course of the attack, the evidence showed, a sneaker worn by the victim was stripped off his foot and thrown onto the roof of an adjacent building. DNA recovered from that sneaker matches the defendant’s.

District Attorney Thompson said, “Today’s verdict is a testament to our determination to fully prosecute this case based on the evidence, which clearly connected this defendant to the crime. I hope that this outcome will bring a measure of comfort to Mr. Patterson and his family.”


Read the full press release here.


Brooklyn DA Summer Internship – Program Mission

Program Mission

The intent of the Brooklyn DA Summer Internship Program is to bring students up close and personal with the criminal justice system, while educating them with hands-on experience. Through this program we look to foster positive perspectives on the legal and law enforcement community, as well as develop a sense of ownership over their education and future success. 

Level of Commitment and Expectation

The Brooklyn DA Summer Internship Program will help to build the student’s understanding that their academic preparations and achieving success within the workplace are interconnected. The program’s structure provides students with an assigned Assistant District Attorney, who will serve in the dual role of a mentor and a supervisor. Over the course of five weeks, interns will receive on-the-job training and build their knowledge of the workplace. With that in mind, we expect our interns to exhibit a level of professionalism consistent with the professional conduct standards required of all staff members at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

Areas of evaluation will include the following:

  • Attendance and Punctuality
  • Attitude and Willingness to Learn
  • Appearance and Overall Presence
  • Communication
  • Maturity and Professionalism

Brooklyn District Attorney Launches “Brooklyn DA Summer Internship” Program

Brooklyn District Attorney Launches
“Brooklyn DA Summer Internship” Program

The Brooklyn DA Summer Internship program is a joint partnership between the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the United Federation of Teachers. This program provides a uniquely competitive opportunity for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors attending school and/or residing in Brooklyn. We are currently accepting applications from students who meet the below eligibility criteria and show a strong interest in the criminal justice/public interest sector. Interns will receive a $150 weekly stipend and will be provided with Metro Cards. Selected interns will be assigned to a unit and will support the work of Assistant District Attorneys and other staff.

Intern Duties

  • Assist with legal research and analysis utilizing various sources such as the Internet, news articles, and legal periodicals.
  • Provide assistance to attorneys and staff at various phases of a matter including pretrial, conference, and/or trial.
  • Perform a variety of paralegal and/or clerical functions, as required.
  • Assist attorneys with case preparation, discovery, file maintenance, and organization of court documents.
  • Participate in workshops pertinent to different departments and trial zones.
  • Participate in judicial, legal, and law enforcement observational field trips.
  • Observe criminal trials and defendants get sentenced in court.


  • Applicants must reside in or attend school in Brooklyn.
  • Applicants must be either a high school sophomore, junior, or rising senior.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to the entire duration of the program (July 11, 2016 to August 12, 2016, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM). 

Application Requirements

  • Most recent transcripts.
  • Updated one-page resume.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation and evaluation forms including one from a teacher, coach, mentor, etc.
  • 300 word essay which must be typed (12 pt. font/double-spaced) and addresses the following two prompts:
  • Why are you interested in interning with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office?
  • What impact do you think it will have on your future endeavors both personally and professionally? 

Please note: This is a highly selective internship. Only 10 spots are available and selected candidates will be required to interview.

Completed documents should be emailed to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office at in pdf format, with the subject line: “Brooklyn DA Summer Internship Program”, no later than May 20, 2016.


Contact Felicia Harris, 718-250-4873

arrow_blue Program Mission

pdf-icon Recommendation Request Form


DA Thompson Announces New Firearms Prosecution Unit

DA Thompson Announces New Firearms Prosecution Unit

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced on January 12, 2016 the creation of a new Firearms Prosecution Unit, part of New York City’s ‘Project Fast Track’—an initiative designed to swiftly and efficiently dispose of illegal gun cases.  The Unit will be headed by Assistant District Attorney Leslie Kahn.

At a press conference held at City Hall, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and other law enforcement officials joined DA Thompson to announce the new initiative and unit. “We stand here today because this is a very important initiative that is going to roll out,” DA Thompson said at Tuesday’s press conference. “Today, we are here to deal with those who bring guns into our communities and bring guns to our streets. With the announcement of this new gun part, we’re going to enhance our effort in Brooklyn with a new Firearms Prosecution Unit.

Project Fast Track includes an Expedited Firearms Court, a specialized court part for gun possession cases. The first implementation of the new court part will begin in Brooklyn and be overseen by Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Suzanne Mondo and Acting Supreme Court Justice Cassandra Mullen. The part is expected to be added to courts in all five boroughs.

“An Expedited Firearms Court with dedicated judges will help us prosecute gun cases faster and more efficiently in Brooklyn. This is another tool for us in our commitment to fight gun violence and I’m confident that these important additional resources will help keep the public safe,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

DA Thompson Announces New Firearms Prosecution Unit

Pride Month Events


DA Thompson and the staff at the District Attorney’s Office marked Pride Month in June 2015 with a number of events. On June 13, the District Attorney, office employees and their family members marched down Fifth Avenue in Park Slope as part of the Brooklyn Pride Parade to express their support of gay rights.

And on June 28, DA Thompson hosted an LGBTQ Recognition Ceremony at Brooklyn Law School, honoring pioneers in the struggle towards justice and equality for members of that community. It was only fitting that a day later the United States Supreme Court historically ruled that the right to get married must be extended to all Americans, including same sex couples.

The District Attorney’s commitment to ensure the safety of all protected classes – including gays, lesbians and transgender individuals – is manifested each and every day with the work of the Hate Crimes Unit, which was created in 2014 as part of the Civil Rights Bureau . The Unit has investigated and prosecuted a number of crimes in which LGBTQ members were allegedly targeted and assaulted because of their orientation and enhanced charges have been brought in these serious cases.



If you feel you have been discriminated against in the delivery of program services based on age, color, race, creed, disability, gender (including gender identity), genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, domestic partnership status, military status, national origin (including alienage, ancestry and citizenship status), pregnancy, prior arrest or conviction, religion, sexual orientation, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offense or stalking, or because you are a person who is perceived to be within one of these categories or who has a known relationship or association with someone who is, or is perceived to be, within one of these categories, please contact the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office’s EEO Officer, Nancy Laxer at (718) 250-2068.

You may also bring your complaint to:

100 Gold Street, Suite 4608
New York, New York 10006
(212) 306-7500


163 West 125th Street, Room 401
New York, New York 10027
(212) 961-8650


55 Hanson Place, Room 1084
Brooklyn, New York 11217
(718) 722-2856


201 Varick Street, Room 750
New York, New York 10014
(646) 264-3170


Office of Legal Services
80 South Swan Street
Albany, New York 12210
(800) 262-3257


Brooklyn Man Indicted For Sexually Assaulting Teenager While Pretending To Be Police Officer


Wednesday, January 7, 2014

Brooklyn Man Indicted For Sexually Assaulting Teenager
While Pretending To Be Police Officer

Defendant Faces Up To 25 Years To Life In Prison If Convicted

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 47-year-old Brooklyn man has been arraigned on an eight-count indictment in which he is charged with forcing an 18-year-old woman to engage in sex acts and trying to rape her in Bushwick last October while claiming to be a police officer.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant is accused of impersonating a police officer to commit a cowardly and deplorable crime against an innocent young woman. He will now be held accountable for his actions.”

The District Attorney said that the defendant, Walter Barnes, 47, of 2015 East 59th Street, Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn, was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia Williams on an eight-count indictment in which he is charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree attempted rape, two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act and one count of first-degree criminal impersonation. His bail was continued at $200,000 bond or $250,000 cash and he was ordered to return to court on February 27, 2015. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 2, 2014, at approximately 6:30 a.m., in the vicinity of Aberdeen Street and Bushwick Avenue, the defendant, who was driving a car, allegedly flagged down an 18-year-old woman who was walking to a store and offered her a ride. Once the woman was inside of his car, the defendant allegedly identified himself as a New York City police officer and threatened to arrest her unless she performed a sex act on him.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendant then allegedly drove the victim to another location and again forced her to perform a sex act. The victim allegedly tried to get out of the car, but the doors were locked; the defendant then allegedly tried to rape her but she was able to grab the car keys from the ignition and escape.
The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Detectives assigned to the Police Impersonation Unit, a division of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lisa Nugent of the District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert, Bureau Chief.

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