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Judge denies Jesse Friedman's request to recuse himself

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 Nassau judge has denied a request from a convicted sex offender to recuse herself from considering his petition for an innocence claim hearing.

Jesse Friedman pleaded guilty in 1988 to sexually abusing boys who took computer classes in his family's Great Neck home. He got out of prison in 2001. The Connecticut man, now 45, claims police manipulated children into false claims and he pleaded guilty to avoid life behind bars if convicted at trial.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Teresa Corrigan said in a decision Friday she had no outside knowledge of Friedman's case and will be "fair and impartial."

Friedman had claimed that Corrigan presiding in the case would "amount to a clear appearance of impropriety" because of ties to her former boss, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Rice's office, which declined to comment Friday, had said Corrigan shouldn't recuse herself unless she felt a personal bias or had "extrajudicial knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts."

Corrigan wrote that she didn't socialize with Rice or work in a bureau with her when both were Brooklyn prosecutors.

She said that as a Nassau prosecutor for Rice, she never discussed Friedman's case with one of her deputy bureau chiefs who had prosecuted him.

Friedman's attorney, Ronald Kuby, Friday called it "deeply disturbing" that Corrigan "cannot see that she lacks the appearance of impartiality."

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