CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A notorious Long Island sex offender scored a victory in court Monday, as a judge ordered that he be retried or set free.
As 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported, Selden grandfather Thomas Green, 66, has served five years of a 35-year prison sentence since being convicted in 2008 of abusing several neighborhood children.
During his trial, Green had argued that he didn’t even know his chief accuser during the time the girl testified she was sexually abused beginning at age 7.
U.S. District Judge Arthur D. Spatt on Monday agreed that the jury should have seen certain evidence backing up Green’s claim. In a 44-page opinion, the judge ordered Green must be set free unless the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office “affords him a new trial within 90 days.”
“Mr. Green is now 66 years old. He’ll be 67 next month. He’s been in prison for five years. He’s had two heart attacks while he was in prison,” said defense attorney Ron Kuby. “So he needs to be home.”
A spokesman said the Suffolk DA will decide within the next 90 days whether to try Green again or not. Kuby said he will be filing to have Green released.
“We’ll be making a motion to have him released on bail, and once he’s back home, the DA’s office can take as long as they want to figure out what they want to do,” he said.
At trial, prosecutors claimed Green molested five girls – all of them friends and one of them a member of his family – in both public and private places between 1998 and 2003.
One girl claimed she slept at Green’s home every weekend and every day during the summer of 1998 when she was 7, and one night, she and another girl watched a scary movie with Green and they decided to sleep in bed with him after they were frightened by the movie. The girl claimed during the night, she woke up to find Green performing a sex act on her, according to court documents.
The girl also alleged that Green forced her to perform other sex acts and committed violent abuse against her, according to documents. The girl claimed at trial that she and her friend made a pinky swear that they would tell someone about the incidents when they got older and were “ready to face” what had happened, documents said.
But one of the girls denied that any of the acts of abuse had happened to her, or that she even knew the girl making the allegations, according to a Newsday report.
A photo of the girls together marked “Coney Island 6/98” was shown at trial, but defense attorneys said in court that the film used for the photo was not even being manufactured in 1998, the newspaper reported.
Spatt’s ruling said Green’s trial attorney, Paul Gianelli, should have challenged the physical evidence presented by prosecutors more closely, the opinion said.
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