Will Morgenthau Do Justice?

The First Trial Judge Was Over His Head

And as the headline in a May 18 New York Times overview of the case put it: "Questions Hover in Internet Sex Abuse Case." In the story, Laura Mansnerus and Katherine Finkelstein reported: "Legal experts and even some prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office privately say the case against him has turned into a loser. . . . After the sentencing . . . some of [the accuser's] relatives joined the [Jovanovic family] at a news conference, declaring that she had a history of lying and stealing and had wrongfully accused Mr. Jovanovic."

The unavoidable question for Robert Morgenthau—especially in view of his long-term stature among the nation's district attorneys—is how he can continue in fairness to prosecute Oliver Jovanovic after his office has offered to drop the case in return for time served and some admission of guilt.

When Jovanovic—insisting on his innocence—exercises his right to yet another jury trial, he will risk a sentence of 15 years to life because the district attorney of Manhattan would rather go for conviction in a discredited case rather than do justice.

Morgenthau is running for another four-year term. He is unopposed. At 82, this will be his eighth victory. Why sully it?

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