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Judge agrees to release Thomas Green from jail

Thomas Green at Riverhead Criminal Court. (July 28,

Thomas Green at Riverhead Criminal Court. (July 28, 2008) Credit: James Carbone

A federal judge agreed Friday to release from jail a Selden grandfather whose convictions for molesting three girls were overturned, but his dire medical condition will keep him in the hospital for a while.

Also, it may take some time to satisfy bail conditions set by U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt, so Thomas Green, 67, may not immediately be moved from the locked ward of the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead to a regular bed.

After oncologist Marilyn McLaughlin confirmed a previous diagnosis that Green has cancer throughout his body, the Suffolk district attorney's office dropped its opposition to his release. Defense attorney Ronald Kuby of Manhattan thanked Assistant District Attorney Karla Lato for that.

Spatt last month threw out Green's 2008 sexual abuse convictions, ruling that evidence corroborating the girls' stories could not have existed at the time the crimes supposedly happened in the late 1990s. Two of the girls said at the time they made a "pinkie swear" to seek justice.

Spatt gave the Suffolk district attorney's office 90 days to free Green from his 35-year prison sentence or retry him.

Spatt Friday set bail of $100,000 bond, ordered Green confined to his home, required Green to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and ordered the results of any biopsies or medical reports be sent to the district attorney's office.

Kuby agreed to those conditions, but said biopsies can't be performed yet because Green is on blood thinners because of clots in his lungs.

"He's certainly in no position to flee," Kuby said.

Green's wife and two daughters declined to comment afterward. His wife wept quietly in the courthouse elevator before leaving.

Outside court, Kuby said his most immediate concern is to get Green out of the hospital's jail ward so his family can visit him for more than two hours a week and he will not have to be shackled to his bed.

"There are no good options here anymore," he said. "They range from dreadful to horrific."


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