Friday, May 5, 2017

Long Island man was acquitted by a jury of sex crimes. You can guess Ahearn's reaction to the news

A high profile sex crime case in Suffolk County ends in acquittal.

His eyes wet, Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, a foster father who opened his Long Island home to scores of children with intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses, walked out of court here a free man on Tuesday after he was acquitted of endangering or sexually abusing boys in his care.

The verdict followed an emotional five-week trial in State Supreme Court that included testimony from eight accusers who had lived with Mr. Gonzales-Mugaburu, 60. It represented a stunning turnaround for him after more than a year in jail. And it dealt a blow to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the high-profile case that had raised questions about the child welfare system.

Donald Mates, Mr. Gonzales-Mugaburu’s lawyer, had argued that his client — so trusted that New York City’s child welfare agency had placed 95 boys in his care over two decades, many of whom he adopted — was a strict but not abusive foster parent who had looked after troubled boys. Mr. Mates raised doubt about the credibility of the accusers, arguing that they were coached, and questioned why a detective who had interviewed some of the boys did not testify — a point some jury members mentioned after delivering the verdict.

Mr. Mates said his client looked forward to getting “his good name back after it’s been smeared over the past year and a half.” Mr. Gonzales-Mugaburu stood beside him and nodded his head.

An ‘Exemplary’ Foster Father, a String of Suspicions and Sexual-Abuse Charges APRIL 1, 2016
“Cesar’s just, obviously, very happy, very emotional,” Mr. Mates said.

The jurors, who spent more than a week deliberating the 16 charges, said they struggled to stay impartial as they fought through the strong emotions stirred by the case. They used a white board to painstakingly account for the many details they were given and built a timeline. They debated the definition of “reasonable doubt” and had the judge redefine it for them.

Jury members fainted, experienced dizziness and stomach problems, and lost sleep, said Louise Corcoran, a juror who is a teacher from West Islip.

But in the end, they decided that Mr. Gonzales-Mugaburu was not guilty of any of the charges.

“We were, you know, waiting for the rest of the story,” Ms. Corcoran said. “It never came.”

Jurors had “to try to finish the story in your head, which you really can’t do,” she said.

Tim Carney, the jury foreman, who is a firefighter from Islip, also pointed to gaps in the case against Mr. Gonzales-Mugaburu. The prosecutors “just never built that bridge, in our eyes,” Mr. Carney said.

“We can’t ask for evidence to come in,” he said.

Laura Ahearn's reaction is as expected-- "The system failed us, and by the way we have a new stat we pulled out of our asses and we have a new program just for this type of case so bring money."

Where does this dubious claim of foster kids being 10 times more likely to be sexually abused originate? And if this was actually true, then why even have a foster care system?

Of course, Ahearn is already prepared to take MORE of your taxpayer money to fund another of her dubious programs. Who would have guessed?

This is now slander, Ahearn. Looks like you should be worried about getting sued yet again.

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