This is a case wherein defendant moved for an order to grant inspection of the Grand Jury minutes ad dismissing or reducing the relevant counts of the indictment as not supported by legally sufficient evidence.
The defendant likewise moved for an order of dismissal on the indictment on various grounds arising out of a defective grand jury proceeding.
The defendant in this case was charged on August 3, 2007 with three counts of rape in the first degree; three counts of rape in the third degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the third degree, assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree. All of said charges were a product of an incident which occurred on July 8, 2007.
The case was presented to the grand jury. The people were represented in the grand jury by a deputy, the chief of the Special Victims Bureau, and an assistant district attorney. The complainant testified that there occurred a non-consented sexual assault made by the defendant against her at his campaign office on the evening of July 8, 2007. The prosecution likewise presented other witnesses.
Later, the defendant waived immunity and testified before the grand jury, accompanied by his attorney and another counsel. Both attorneys were outside the grand jury room. The testimony of the defendant includes how he met complainant at a local bar in the lat afternoon of July 8, 2007 and his narration of the consensual sexual relations with her at his campaign headquarters after 8:00 o’clock in the evening of the same day.
The defendant now requests that the grand jury minutes be inspected by him in order to find out if the evidence presented before it is sufficient to support the charges contained in the indictment. The Court likewise inspected the minutes in order to find out if the grand jury proceedings were defective to such a degree that the integrity thereof was impaired and resulted in prejudice to the defendant.
The Court ruled, after having inspected the minutes of the grand jury, that the evidence presented before it is sufficient to support each and every one of the counts charged against the defendant. According to the court, the complainant’s testimony itself, if considered by the grand jury as true, is sufficient to support all the charges as well as the defendant’s commission of the same.
But, the Court found out that the grand jury proceedings were impaired to the extent that caused prejudice to the defendant. According to the minutes, it is imminent from the examination of the cross-examination of the defendant, which includes the concerns voiced out by the members of the grand jurors that the prosecutor’s questions were prejudicial to the defendant.
It also appears that the prosecutor exceeded his limits of cross examination in many instances and breached his duty as a quasi-judicial officer. The Court has found out that the nature of the prosecutor’s cross examination of the defendant, including his refusal to seek a judicial ruling when requested by the defense counsel, and the prosecutor’s continuing refusal to seek judicial guidance when requested by a member of the grand juror, plus his improper responses to concerns made by the members of the grand jurors, resulted in a significant impairment of the integrity of the grand jury proceedings and created prejudice in the minds of the members of the grand jury against the defendant.
The Court also found out that the cross examination made by the prosecutor to the defendant created more than just a substantial risk of prejudice to the defendant since it created an actual prejudice to his rights.
Thus, the Court ruled, after inspecting the grand jury minutes, that the indictment must be dismissed with leave to re-present pursuant to C.P.L. Sections 210.20 (1) (c) and 210.35 (5).
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