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Merry
January 20th, 2010, 02:47 AM
:rolleyes: How ridiculous, in more ways than one. And why is prostitution still a crime?


With One Word, Adding a Twist to a Prostitution Case

By JOHN ELIGON

Slept through conjunction lessons in third grade? Well, here’s a reason you might want to freshen up.

A Manhattan criminal court case against two women charged with prostitution may be in jeopardy after defense lawyers argued on Tuesday that the prosecution erroneously used the word “and” instead of “or” in the charging document filed in court.

The defendants, Cassandra Malandri and Falynn Rodriguez, “on or about June 20, 2008, engaged, agreed and offered to engage in sexual conduct with another person for a fee,” the document read.

That wording does not jibe with how the statute defines the crime, defense lawyers said. The statute reads that a “person engages or agrees or offers to engage.”

Prosecutors used “the conjunctive, not the disjunctive,” said Ikiesha Al-Shabazz, who is representing Ms. Malandri with the Strazzullo firm.

“When you change an ‘and’ to an ‘or,’ or vice versa, you significantly change the material elements that have to be proven and the factual elements that have to be proven,” Ms. Al-Shabazz added later.

But prosecutors countered those arguments, saying that the wording should allow them to continue to pursue their case.

“We grouped the prosecutor’s information in the conjunctive,” said Daryl Reed, an assistant district attorney. “However, we’re not required by law to have proof of them all.”

Ms. Malandri and Ms. Rodriguez are charged with offering to have sex with undercover detectives for $5,000. If convicted of the prostitution charges, each faces up to 90 days in jail.

Although using an “and” instead of an “or” actually makes the case more difficult for the prosecution – they will have to prove all three of those things instead of just one – Ms. Al-Shabazz said that the error opened the door for prosecutors to throw in additional accusations and evidence outside the scope of what they have alleged.

“It’s not just a small word,” she said outside the courtroom. “It’s paramount.”

ShawnDya Simpson, the judge presiding over the case, said she would rule on the motion to dismiss Wednesday morning.

Despite the technical error, it seems unlikely that the judge would throw out the charges. She may allow the prosecution to amend its charging document or may rule that the wording was a harmless error.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/with-one-word-adding-a-twist-to-a-prostitution-case/#more-123401

Ninjahedge
January 20th, 2010, 07:50 AM
BS.

Absolute BS. If the law says "or", and the charges say "and", "or" implies that any of them could be done, not at the exclusion of the others. It is a singular inclusive, not a literal either/or.

The fact that we SPEND TAXPAYER DOLLARS HAVING TO ARGUE GRAMMAR IN COURT is a sign of our own civilizational decay.

ramvid01
January 22nd, 2010, 12:47 AM
^^ I wholeheartedly disagree.

While it may seem like a technicality, all this shows is the poor lawyering on the part of the prosecution not the decay of civilization itself. Besides there has been a long history of courts splitting hairs on grammar, this is surely not the first instance.

Merry
January 22nd, 2010, 03:19 AM
No, of course it's not the first instance, and it won't be the last, but it always wastes time, resources and taxpayers' money -- and for something in this case that should've been legalised a long time ago.

It's certainly a ubiquitous sign of a legal system long corrupt and in decay (was it ever any better?), which is IMO unfortunately a pretty accurate reflection of the general state of significant aspects of human society. May the force be with you, NH :cool:.

Ninjahedge
January 22nd, 2010, 10:12 AM
^^ I wholeheartedly disagree.

While it may seem like a technicality, all this shows is the poor lawyering on the part of the prosecution not the decay of civilization itself. Besides there has been a long history of courts splitting hairs on grammar, this is surely not the first instance.


It is a technicality. Regardless of the degree of "Lawyering" performed by the presecution, the whole idea of being held up on technicalities that can be counterargued is a waste of time and money.

If they were smart they would just let her go and catch them again later. It is not as if they will suddenly change professions or anything.

The problem is, $$ wasted in their capture. The charges should be allowed to be reworded to match the actual crime and we should not get hung up on somantics.

ramvid01
January 23rd, 2010, 01:50 AM
Why reward someone for not doing their job properly (granted the prosecutor represents "the people"). However it seems like the judge threw out the case against one of the defendants for lack of proof:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/01/22/2010-01-22_prostitution_charges_dropped_against_porn_star_ cassandra_malandri_who_denied_off.html

Prostitution charges dropped against porn star Cassandra Malandri, who denies offering $5K threesome

By Kerry Burke (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Kerry%20Burke) and Melissa Grace (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Melissa%20Grace)
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, January 22nd 2010, 8:45 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2010/01/23/alg_accused2.jpg Lap dancers Falynn Rodriquez (r.) and Cassandra Malandri, were both charged with prostitution charges, but charges against Malandri were tossed out Friday for lack of proof.


A Manhattan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Manhattan) judge has dismissed prostitution charges against one of two lap dancers charged with trying to sell sex to an undercover cop.
A decision is expected Tuesday on the case against the second stripper - a porn star who took the stand Friday.

Cassandra Malandri (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Cassandra+Malandri), better known as X-rated star Alexia Moore (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Alexia+Moore), admitted Friday she performed a "girl-on-girl" show but denied she offered a threesome for $5,000 at the Manhattan Hot Lap Dance Club in June 2008.
"I was on top of him. I was touching him on his arms and chest," said the busty blonde, better known as porn actress Alexia Moore. "I do an air dance. I was above him."

The salacious misdemeanor trial is a rarity in Manhattan courts where most cases are pleaded out.

Malandri and Falynn Rodriquez (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Falynn+Rodriquez), both 26, refused a no-jail offer. Their ex-boss Louis Posner (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Louis+Posner) faces an April 1 trial on charges he ran a hooker ring.
Manhattan Criminal Court (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Manhattan+Criminal+Court) Judge ShawnDyn Simpson tossed out the charges against Rodriguez for lack of proof.
"I'm just selling a fantasy," the pillow-lipped woman said as she left with her father, a retired cop.
It's Malandri who's charged with actually cutting the deal with the cop. Asked in court if she tried to sell sex, she said, "Never."

stache
January 23rd, 2010, 08:01 AM
Who in their right mind would pay five grand for a three-way with those dogs?

Ninjahedge
January 25th, 2010, 10:08 AM
A republican senator?

stache
January 25th, 2010, 12:20 PM
Lol!