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Jesse Friedman's bid for hearing won't be opposed by Nassau prosecutors

Jesse Friedman, with his wife Lisabeth, announces on

Jesse Friedman, with his wife Lisabeth, announces on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, in Mineola that he is filing a motion to dismiss his 1988 guilty plea for sexually molesting children. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau prosecutors won't oppose Jesse Friedman's effort to get a hearing on his claim of innocence after his conviction in a child sex abuse case, court records show.

Friedman, now 45, pleaded guilty in 1988 to sexually abusing boys who took computer classes at his family's Great Neck home. The Connecticut man, released from prison in 2001 after serving 13 years, says police manipulated children into false claims against him and that he pleaded guilty to avoid life in prison, if convicted at trial.

A Sept. 8 filing from District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office says prosecutors won't oppose Friedman's hearing request "notwithstanding" what it called Friedman's "misrepresentations concerning the evidence of his actual innocence, the statements of victims who maintain that they were abused and the defendant's many admissions of guilt."

Friedman's attorney, Ronald Kuby, said Wednesday in a statement that they're pleased Rice consented to a hearing and "can obstruct no longer." He said, "All evidence of Jessie Friedman's innocence will finally be presented in court."

It's still up to a judge whether to grant a hearing, a court spokesman said. The case is before acting State Supreme Court Justice Teresa Corrigan, but a previous Friedman motion asked the judge to recuse herself, citing her ties to Rice, her former boss.

In another new filing, Rice's office says Corrigan shouldn't recuse herself unless the judge feels she has "a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or has extrajudicial knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts."

Prosecutors opposed a motion from Friedman that seeks to vacate his conviction. Rice's office had found Friedman's conviction justified after a review prompted by a 2010 court decision that said evidence suggested a likelihood he was wrongfully convicted.

A Rice spokesman said Wednesday that her office was confident Friedman's conviction "will continue to be rightly upheld."

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