On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Queens residents were happy to hear that a suspect was arrested and charged with having sexual contact with two 7 year old girls on separate occasions in South Ozone Park, Queens. Queens residents were being extremely cautious and careful since hearing of these attacks. The suspect is identified as 25 years old Lee Samuel, a homeless person, as per law enforcement sources.
According to the police, Mr. Samuel made several statements admitting he attacked the girls. This would bring into play whether the police read Mr. Samuel's Miranda Warnings prior to questioning him about the attacks on the girls. A Criminal Lawyer can explain what Miranda Warnings are, and when the police are obligated under the law to read these warnings to a suspect. For further information regarding Miranda Warnings, you can see my blog dated April 27, 2013 "YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT." In a nutshell, Miranda Warnings are to be read by law enforcement to a suspect, prior to questioning the suspect. The warnings include the following: That a suspect is going to be questioned regarding a certain incident; that he has the right to remain silent; that he has the right to speak to an attorney; that if cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed; that anything he says can be used against him; and that after receiving these warnings, would he be willing to answer the law enforcement officer's questions.
It is reported that Samuel was apprehended in Manhattan after a 911 call reported him at a certain address. It is also reported that he has at least 15 prior arrests, including at least 2 sex offenses. It is not stated whether these arrests were sex offense arrests which actually resulted in sex offense convictions, requiring registration with the SEXUAL OFFENDER REGISTRATION ACT (SORA). That act requires a convicted sex offender to register their current residence in a registry, among other specified mandatory requirements.
Samuel was arraigned in Queens County Criminal Court on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 on two separate Criminal Court Complaints. Through his Criminal Lawyer, Samuel pleaded not guilty, and the arraigning Judge ordered Samuel held without bail. The complaints charged Samuel with Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a Class B Felony, Endangering the Welfare of A Child, a Class A Misdemeanor, as well as Forcible Touching, another Class A Misdemeanor. If Samuel were to go to trial with a Queens Criminal Lawyer, and found guilty beyond the reasonable doubt by a Queens Jury, he could face up 25 years in jail, if convicted of the top B Felony count.
The Queens District Attorney's Office has a special bureau which deals with Special Victim Cases. There is no doubt that the Prosecutors assigned to this case will be diligently seeking substantial jail time for Samuel. Prior to a trial in this case, there will be pre-trial hearings regarding any evidence obtained from Samuel prior to or after his arrest, including, but not limited to the statements Samuel allegedly made to the police.
I am Luke Scardigno, a Queens Criminal Lawyer, who can be reached either by telephone at (718) 261-5151 or by email at [email protected]. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding any criminal cases in Queens.