We, the family and friends of innocent police officers and civilians who have been maliciously prosecuted and imprisioned by Jeanine Pirro, believe it is our moral obligation and responsibility to keep her from doing to the justice system and the Courts of New York State what she has done in Westchester County, New York. WE ARE DETERMINED TO STOPIRRO!!!!!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Appeals court throws out Westchester sex-sting conviction

(Original publication: July 28, 2006)

The conviction of one of the men apprehended in Westchester's high-profile Internet sex sting has been thrown out after an appellate court found that his conduct was not criminal because his graphic discussions with an investigator he thought was a 14-year-old boy did not include visual images of sexual conduct.
The unanimous ruling by the four judges of the Appellate Division, 2nd Department, in the case of Jeffrey Kozlow determined that words alone — however sexually explicit — do not meet the legal standard to support a conviction for attempted disseminating indecent material to minors.
The District Attorney's Office cannot automatically appeal the ruling but will seek permission to challenge it before the state Court of Appeals, said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for District Attorney Janet DiFiore.
Chalfen said he was unsure how many pending cases the ruling could affect or how it might affect the sting operation by the High Technology Crimes Bureau.
Kozlow, a real estate lawyer from Manhattan, was arrested in June 2004. He was the 100th defendant apprehended in the sting, which former District Attorney Jeanine Pirro made a hallmark of her tenure and continues to tout as she runs for state attorney general.
Pirro said yesterday that she was disappointed by the ruling. She said it set a "dangerous precedent for our children." The language Kozlow and others like him used in their Internet communication was as graphic and harmful as any pornography, she said.
Kozlow requested a nonjury trial and was convicted by then-Westchester County Judge Joseph Alessandro. Kozlow was sentenced a year ago yesterday to five years' probation and was classified a Level 1, or low-risk, sex offender. The probationary sentence was put on hold pending his appeal.
At the time, Kozlow acknowledged that what he had done was inappropriate and apologized to his family and friends.
"(It was) something I did, but not who I am," he said.
His lawyer, Nathaniel Marmur, said yesterday that he was "extremely pleased" that the appellate panel found Kozlow had not committed a crime. He said Kozlow had lost his law license as a result of the felony conviction, but that he would seek to get it back as a result of the appellate ruling.
The sting, begun by Pirro's office in 1998, featured investigators from the District Attorney's Office posing as teenage boys or girls in Internet chat rooms. The sting resulted in more than 110 arrests. The suspects were usually taken into custody when they arrived for what they thought would be a sexual liaison. Until this week's ruling, the sting had a 100 percent conviction rate, with all but three of the defendants pleading guilty.
In several cases, the suspects sent pornographic images to their targets. The ruling this week would not have affected such cases. But those who, like Kozlow, did not send any images, will not benefit by the ruling because they waived most of their appellate rights when they pleaded guilty.
One defendant who could benefit is Paul Wicht, a teacher convicted after arranging to meet a former student for a sexual tryst. Wicht, who changed lawyers after a jury found him guilty of attempted disseminating indecent material to a minor, is awaiting sentencing. Neither of the lawyers could be reached for comment yesterday.
Kozlow's appeal and others like it had prompted state legislators to propose changes to the law to make it include written words as well as images. A bill passed the Senate but stalled in the Assembly.
"When a young child is subjected to graphically written solicitations and descriptions of sexual acts while online, such exposure is often more frightening than if the victim were sent an image," said one of the legislators, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please keep in mind that in the Wicht case, as Bandler is loathe to point out, he was never trolling in a chat room, nor did he even initiate contact with the student. He did not initiate sex talk or ever exchange a single sexual e-mail with the complainant! They (the North Castle detectives)told the complainant, as there literally was no victim, to talk about her actual sex life with her boyfriend!
Nor was it Wicht who suggested a get together. He at no time attempted to "induce, invite, or importune" anyone to do anything-period, as guilt of the indictment demands. He was only convicted as ADA Delhourie, the prosecuting attorney, got away with prosecutorial misconduct for a while, not to mention the complainant committing perjury on their behalf. This is all part of a 330.30 motion now in front of Judge Adler, to be decided on 9/29.

Delhourie stands to be disbarred, and Pirro could end up in jail for prosecutorial misconduct herself.
Now that would be justice for a change.

5:00 PM  

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