Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is investigating the actions of Nassau police and prosecutors in a 2005 case that kept a Queens teenager locked up four months for an armed robbery that, the man's lawyer says, officials knew he did not do.
Raheem Crews, now 24, had the perfect alibi. He was in jail when the robbery occurred.
"All I can say is that we are investigating the Crews case," Jonah Bruno, a Hynes spokesman, said earlier this week.
Neither Crews nor his Hempstead lawyer, Fred Brewington, were aware of Hynes' involvement in the case, the lawyer said Tuesday. "Nobody ever talked to us," he said.
The Hynes news surfaced following a letter Brewington sent last week to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. In it he castigated her for not following up on an earlier request this year for an investigation into the actions of the police and assistant district attorneys in the Crews case.
Rice spokesman Eric Phillips, said: "This is [a] very serious allegation . . . and when we received it we promptly referred it [in May 2009] to federal authorities.
"When it became clear that prosecutors from this office's former administration could be materially involved . . . we requested [in August] that a special prosecutor be assigned. On August 26, 2009, Nassau's chief judge granted that request and appointed the Kings County district attorney."
Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a spokesman for the Nassau Police department, said that after "we did an internal investigation on one member [who was a part of the Crews case], he resigned." Repalone would not identify the officer.
Brewington said his client was in jail on some criminal mischief charge when he was locked up from March 24 to 31. The robbery occurred March 25. Crews went back to jail in May 2005 and remained incarcerated until September of that year.