New York Defendant Unsuccessfully Argues for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in Rape Case

In a recent rape case before an appeals court in New York, the defendant asked the court to find that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial for rape in the second degree. Originally, the defendant was charged by indictment after evidence supported a showing that he had engaged in sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl several times. During the trial, the defendant thought his attorney should have made more objections to the evidence that the State asked the jury to consider. Ultimately, the defendant lost at trial, and he was convicted and sentenced accordingly. On appeal, the court considered the defendant’s argument and disagreed that his counsel was inadequate. The defendant’s conviction was affirmed.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was a man in his 40s who knew the victim and her family. As the defendant and the victim spent more time together, the defendant disclosed to the victim that he was having trouble in his marriage. Eventually, the defendant and the victim began engaging in sexual relations, and the State police received a report that the defendant was sexually abusing the minor.

When the defendant was charged, he was taken in for an interview with the police. At that point, he was given Miranda warnings, and he cooperated fully with the investigators. Later in the day, the defendant provided a written statement admitting that he had been having sex with the victim in the case.

The Decision

The defendant’s case went to trial, and the State admitted the written statement that the defendant had given to the investigators. The defendant’s attorney did not move to suppress this statement, but the defendant thought he should have asked the court to keep it out of the admitted evidence. At the end of the trial, the defendant was convicted of rape, and he was sentenced to time in prison.

On appeal, then, the court had to decide whether the defendant had received ineffective assistance of counsel by his attorney. Considering the record in the case, the court determined that the lawyer’s failure to ask the court to suppress the written statement was not enough to give the defendant a new trial. Ultimately, said the court, the trial court was not likely to suppress the written statement in the first place. Thus, the lawyer did not make a grave error by failing to move to suppress the evidence, and the defendant’s appeal should be denied.

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