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July 23, 2015

Malicious Prosecution Against A Westchester County Probation Officer Who Framed A Defendant Will Go Forward

By Michael H. Joseph

Recently United States District Judge Nelson S. Roman decided in our firms favor in a malicious prosecution lawsuit. Two crooked law enforcement officials Probation Officer Pedro Feliciano and Detective Frank Lore wrongly accused our client of committing a robbery-assault that took place at the White Plains Metro North Train Station. Luckily for our client he choose to represent him in this case.

After spending over three years on probation our client had several false allegations brought against him by his probation officer Pedro Feliciano. After gathering evidence of those false allegations he reported his proof to the Assistant District Attorney. When Feliciano realized his wrongdoings was about to be exposed, he delayed the hearing scheduled for theviolation of probation against our client and began to plot our clients demise.

Feliciano reached out to Detective Frank Lore the lead investigator in a local robbery-assault case and reported that our client, one of his probationers was the man on the photograph on the wanted poster. When Feliciano made the call to Lore he knew without a doubt that the man in the photograph was not our client. He had to have knew that our client who was 6’2 was not the 5’9 suspect photographed. The suspect on the surveillance video was also obviously more muscular than our client and of a darker complexion. Nonetheless Feliciano proceeded to falsely implicate our client in the robbery so that he could have kept in jail unjustifiably and in an attempt to keep our client from exposing Feliciano’s exaggerated allegations of probation violations. .

After being told by Feliciano that our client was the suspect he was looking for Detective Frank Lore interviewed two witnesses who saw the suspect for a second time. Despite the fact that the witnesses were intoxicated and under the influence of illicit drugs at the time of the robbery-assault Lore represented to the prosecutor that they were credible witnesses. Lore had the witnesses identify our client, they saw that night out of an array of pictures after telling them what the suspect (our client) looked like and using a picture of our client that was over five years old which made our client look much younger than he actually was at time of the robbery-assault. He also chose to include a photograph of only one other person who fit the witnesses’ description of a man in his late teens or early twenties. Other than that the other people photographed in the array were older men. Mysteriously the witnesses then changed their descriptions of the assailant to match our client’s height.

Although our client was arraigned and indicted on the charges brought upon him by Detective Lore and Feliciano he was not convicted of the crime. Our office’s investigation revealed that our client’s phone records showed that he was texting at the time of the robbery and the video surveillance showed that the person who committed the crime was not texting. Our White Plains criminal defense lawyers also retained an expert in facial recognition who proved that our client was not the suspect and the Westchester County Forensic Laboratory confirmed his findings. .

As for the violation brought against our client by Feliciano, our client plead guilty and was sentenced to five months in prison which was shortened to 100 days due to good time calculations. Although our client should have only been imprisoned for 100 days, he actually spent 176 days behind bars. Our client believes the extra time he spent behind bars was a result of Feliciano’s attempt to have him charged with the robbery-assault.

The federal Court denied the Defendants’ motion to dismiss our malicious prosecution case and ruled that it could go forward. Malicious prosecution is a claim that can be raised in a civil lawsuit. It is most often raised against investigators and police officers. Malicious prosecution happens when people are charged with a crime without probable cause. These cases can be brought when investigators tamper with evidence, witnesses, or knowingly submit any false information in regard to a ongoing case. To prove a malicious prosecution casee, the plaintiff’s counsel must prove initiation of a prosecution, favorable termination, lack of probable cause, and malice as motivation for defendant’s actions.

Malicious Prosecution has serious life changing effects on those people who are wrongly accused. Law enforcement officials are supposed to protect out rights and safety, not intentionally falsely accuse the wrong people of committing crimes. A consultation with an experienced civil rights lawyer can help you determine if you have a case.

 
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