Notable Decisions and Other News


Second Department Reverses Conviction on 75 Sexual Misconduct Counts


The defendant was charged with 40 counts of rape in the second degree, 34 counts of rape in the third degree, and 1 count of endangering the welfare of a child.  On May 13, 2015, the Appellate Division dismissed 49 of the rape counts because the trial testimony demonstrated that the counts were void as duplicitous.  The court dismissed another 24 rape counts because the People failed to satisfy their burden to prove appellant’s guilt on those counts as charged to the jury.  Finally, the court ordered a new trial on the remaining two counts because the prosecutor’s improper summation comments – in which he, among other things, acted as an unsworn witness, invited the jury to speculate, and shifted the burden of proof -- deprived the defendant of his right to a fair trial.

Ronald Zapata briefed and argued the case for Appellate Advocates.