Bronx D.A.'s Bungled Rape Cases Could Cost City $3 Million
As we reported in August, the Bronx District Attorney's Office is pretty awful at one thing: prosecuting violent criminals -- which just so happens to be its primary function.
As if allowing alleged violent criminals back on the streets isn't bad enough, Bronx prosecutors' inability to make charges stick could potentially cost the City $3 million.
An accused rapist has filed a notice of claim alerting City officials of a lawsuit he plans on filing charging the City and its Department of Correction with illegally keeping him behind bars for several months -- after the seemingly slam-dunk cases against him fell apart.
Brian Brockington was arrested in 2007 on a charge unrelated to three alleged rapes to which he was later linked.
A DNA swab taken from Brockington at the time of his 2007 arrest linked him to the three rapes: one each in 1993, 1997, and 2003.
Because of the Bronx District Attorney's Office's proclivity for bungling felony cases, the 1993 and 1997 cases against Brockington were dropped. For the 2003 case, Brockington was offered a plea deal, the terms of which required him to plead guilty to a reduced charge of attempted assault in exchange for a sentence of 1 1/2-to-4 years behind bars.
When he was released in May, Brockington had served about five years on Rikers Island, which, obviously, is longer than the maximum four years to which he was sentenced.
The 1993 case was botched when prosecutors didn't bother to file charges until January 6, 2003 -- one day after the statute of limitations had run its course. The 1997 case was dropped because of "evidentiary problems," according to the New York Post.
From the Post:
They just ignored it," a source said. "There's no question they dropped the ball. They just sat on it; he should have been released."
Brockington had ridiculed prosecutors from behind bars at Rikers, calling their probe "a joke."
He protested his innocence, labeled one of his accusers a "crackhead," and said of the 1993 rape charges: "I don't need to rape nobody. I'll buy the [sex]."
Had Brockington been convicted of the charges on which he probably should have been charged, he would have faced up to 75 years in prison. That means he probably would still be rotting away behind bars -- and the City wouldn't be staring down a $3 million lawsuit.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.