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New York Criminal Law Blog

New York record mogul Russell Simmons accused of rape again

Another woman has come forward accusing record producer Russell Simmons of sexual assault. She adds her name to a roster of about a dozen other women who have accused Simmons of rape over the last year. The woman alleges that in 1990 Simmons invited her up to his new New York City apartment after having been on a date. It was there, she said, that Simmons allegedly pushed her up against a wall and assaulted her even after having told him no several times.

The woman said she didn't tell anyone because she and Simmons shared the same friends. Meanwhile, Simmons has denied all allegations against him. He said that he and the woman attended functions together after the alleged incident in 1990. But the woman said to call their time spent together dates is preposterous. 

Man faces drug crime charges in New York

A 36-year-old man was arrested in Lebanon County while transporting several passengers, including children. New York police believe the man was under the influence of drugs. He now faces a variety of drug crime charges, and if he is found guilty, he could face serious jail time and other criminal consequences.

According to the report, the man was headed west on Interstate 78 around 11:40 a.m. on the morning of July 3 when he was observed by state troopers committing an unspecified traffic violation. He was pulled over, whereupon officers on the scene made the determination that he was under the influence of drugs. It is unclear what caused police to believe this, but a search of the car was conducted subsequently.

New York man found guilty of fatal robbery years after the fact

A now 36-year-old man has been sentenced to 25 years incarceration for a home invasion in 2007 when he was just 24 years old. The New York robbery resulted in the killing of a 39-year-old Harlem man. Apparently, the now-convicted man -- who was a known drug dealer at the time and linked to a Queen's drug ring -- believed the man had a stash in his apartment. He was not acting alone at the time.

The unarmed victim struggled with the accused and was shot once in the back and once in the armpit. He died in Harlem Hospital. He was a father of two, a restaurant owner and the manager of a reggae band. 

Drug crime charges filed against Dayton residents

Two residents in the village of Dayton have come under fire after being accused of taking part in illicit drug sales, according to the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. New York State Police have worked in conjunction with the task force to file drug crime charges against a man and a woman. Several other arrests are apparently pending as further search warrants are being approved as part of the ongoing investigation. 

Authorities have confirmed that a 41-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man, both of Dayton, have been placed under arrest after agents entered their home in a sting operation. According to the report, agents on the scene found multiple alleged drugs, including bags of what are believed to be methamphetamine, as well as three ounces of assumed marijuana and an undisclosed number of pills believed to be Alprazolam. All of these drugs were allegedly packed for sale. 

There is more than one type of drug crime

There are both federal and state laws that cover a variety of drug crimes, all of which are associated with numerous consequences.

In a perfect world, you would never face a drug crime charge. Unfortunately, you could find yourself in this position for a variety of reasons. If you do, you must take some basic steps:

  • Understand your charges
  • Learn more about the legal system and what's to come
  • Implement a drug crime defense strategy to help avoid a conviction

3 New York men charged with robbery, kidnapping

Three men have to answer for their alleged part in what is being called a $2 million crime. The New York residents are facing charges of robbery and kidnapping in connection with cryptocurrency. The accused are all said to be members of a Bronx biker gang and are accused of kidnapping a friend and allegedly stealing nearly $2 million in cryptocurrency from him.

The men -- ages 36, 37 and 38 -- apparently joined another 35-year-old man (who is already in custody) this past November to get a millionaire friend of the 35-year-old into a van to kidnap him. Police said the guy was driven around at gunpoint for a couple hours until he gave up a password to his digital wallet. The suspects apparently bilked the guy out of almost $2 million in cryptocurrency -- most of which has been recovered.

Harvey Weinstein indicted on rape charge by New York Grand Jury

Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood producer who recently fell from grace amid allegations of sexual impropriety, has been indicted by a grand jury sitting in New York City. Weinstein has been accused of rape and of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree. Dozens of women have alleged that he sexually assaulted them. The allegations span decades.

The indictments, however, stem from the allegations of two women, one of whom says Weinstein forced her into performing sexual acts, and a second woman who is also making a claim against the fallen producer. The second woman says Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in New York City in 2013. The accused, who is out on $1 million bail, did not appear before the grand jury amid claims that his legal team did not have time to prepare and that his counsel was denied information regarding his case.

Reports of rape in New York City increase; is #MeToo the reason?

Women are becoming more vocal when it comes to reporting alleged sex crimes. In fact, between May 2017 and May 2018, the number of rape allegations reported to the New York Police department almost doubled. Some are speculating those numbers have to do with the #MeToo movement.

The majority of those alleged rapes stemmed from incidents in which the accuser knew the supposed attacker. However, the New York Police Commissioner believes the increase is due to "The Call is Yours" campaign the NYPD started this past April, encouraging sexual assault victims to report abuses even if the allegations aren't new. The NYPD has a Special Victims Division (SVD) 24-hour hotline for those who wish to report an incident.

Major bust takes down drug crime ring in New York

Police say a sting operation took down a number of gang members who were allegedly dealing in narcotics and involved in gun crime. The New York Police Department dubbed the almost two-year investigation Operation Gang Green, which culminated in 15 arrests in connection with drug crime and weapons in the city. Cops seized a number of cars that were allegedly used to transport drugs and weapons, as well as $80,000 in cash during they described as the shakeup of a local gang operation in which 11 of the 15 arrested were members of a Dominican street gang. 

The investigation saw four separate entities working together -- the NYPD, Customs and Border Protection, the Queen's District Attorney and Homeland Security Investigations. Police officers officers posed as undercover drug buyers and also used wiretaps in their efforts to make arrests. Homeland Security became involved when counterfeit documents were allegedly being produced. 

What to do if you’re accused of shoplifting

Many people don't consider shoplifting a serious crime, until they find out that a conviction can lead to all sorts of punishments, ranging from a fine to community service to jail time.

This is why it's so important to fight back against a shoplifting accusation. There is never a good reason to go along with the charges, simply assuming that there's nothing you can do to better your situation.

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Robert D. DiDio
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