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Jesse Friedman seeks hearing on child abuse conviction

Jesse Friedman, with his wife Lisabeth, shown in

Jesse Friedman, with his wife Lisabeth, shown in a June 24, 2014 file photo. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Connecticut man who now proclaims innocence after pleading guilty in a decades-old Great Neck child sex abuse case has asked a judge for a hearing to reconstruct what specific crimes were part of his conviction.

But if a record can't be recreated, convicted sex offender Jesse Friedman, 46, wants the judge to reverse his conviction.

A Nassau judge last year granted Friedman a separate hearing on his claim of actual innocence, a proceeding that hasn't happened yet.

His attorney, Ronald Kuby of Manhattan, said in a July 21 motion that the record from his client's plea in December 1988 to 26 of 244 charges from three indictments was lost by "either the court reporter or the People."

Friedman's motion says the court record shows an assistant district attorney previously told a judge that prosecutors know what offenses Friedman pleaded guilty to, but "don't have a way to correspond them to the actual counts in the indictment."

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, said Tuesday that "an exhaustive review" by the office had "confirmed the propriety of Friedman's guilty plea," and that prosecutors "will review and respond to Mr. Kuby's latest motion."

Kuby argues in the motion that he has to know what charges Friedman was convicted of in order to prove during his innocence hearing that he didn't commit those crimes. He claims Friedman already has shown through affidavits and witness testimony that he didn't commit many of the crimes of which he was accused.

"The remedy for the inability to reconstruct is dismissal," Kuby said Tuesday. "We had asked prosecutors to make a thorough investigation of . . . files and notes. . . . Basically, the DA's position was it's not their problem."

Friedman is seeking a record of the time frame, the identity of victims and allegations that are connected to the specific counts he pleaded guilty to, said Lonnie Soury, a spokesman for Friedman.

Newsday reported in December 1988 that Friedman pleaded guilty to multiple counts of first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse, along with counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a count of using a child in a sex performance and a count of attempted sexual abuse in the first degree.

A judge sentenced him to 6 to 18 years in prison; he got out in 2001.


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