Thanks to the criminal activities of three former New York City Police Department detectives who were later convicted of various crimes, a request was made to vacate the cases of 60 defendants whose convictions were based on their police work.
Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz filed a joint motion with defense attorneys who earlier this year raised questions about the reliability of such convictions. The request was sent to all District Attorneys in each of New York City’s five boroughs.
In a statement from the Queens County District Attorney’s office, the three police detectives were charged with various offenses that had direct implications on the cases where they were witnesses. These statement read in part:
- Former NYPD Detective Kevin Desormeau was convicted in Queens on charges of Perjury in the First Degree, Official Misconduct, and Making a Punishable False Written Statement after lying about witnessing a drug sale that videotaped evidence showed did not take place. In Manhattan, Desormeau pled guilty to Offering a False Instrument and Official Misconduct after it was revealed that he fabricated the facts of a gun possession arrest. Desormeau was terminated by the NYPD as a result of these convictions. The CIU has identified 34 cases that should be dismissed based on Desormeau’s role as the essential witness.
- Former NYPD Detective Sasha Cordoba pled guilty in Manhattan to Perjury in the First Degree and Official Misconduct relating to her fabricating the facts of a gun possession arrest. Cordoba was terminated by the NYPD. The CIU has identified 20 cases that should be dismissed based on Cordoba’s role as the essential witness.
- Former NYPD Detective Oscar Sandino pled guilty to federal charges related to the sexual assault and other sexual misconduct involving arrestees while working as a NYPD detective. These charges arose out of three instances of sex crimes; one of which revealed that he sexually abused an arrestee in the bathroom of the 110th precinct in Queens County. Sandino was terminated by the NYPD as a result of these convictions. The CIU has identified six cases that should be dismissed based on Sandino’s role as the essential witness.
DA Katz said, “We cannot stand behind a criminal conviction where the essential law enforcement witness has been convicted of crimes which irreparably impair their credibility. Vacating and dismissing these cases is both constitutionally required and necessary to ensure public confidence in our justice system.”