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Ciampoli: Kogut verdict would have "crippled" Nassau County

Nassau spent more than a million dollars successfully defending itself against three former Lynbrook men who claim they were wrongfully arrested in 1984 for the rape and murder of 16-year-old Theresa Fusco, County Attorney John Ciampoli said on Friday.

John Kogut, Dennis Halstead and John Restivo had sued the county for $190 million after claiming that seven former county police detectives forced Kogut to falsely confess to the murder of the Lynbrook teenager.

The men served 17 years behind bars before being released in 2003 when newly discovered DNA evidence failed to match their DNA profiles.

But, on Thursday, a federal jury ruled that Nassau police acted in good faith when they arrested the three men.

Ciampoli said the three men attempted to turn a “heinous crime into a payday that would cripple Nassau County.” He added that a $190 million judgment “could have broken the fiscal back of the county.”

But, Ciampoli said the county spent roughly $1 million in legal costs and salary defending the case. The county, he said, will likely be unable to recoup those costs.

Ciampoli said he expected the plaintiffs to appeal "and I am equally certain that they will lose again."

 

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