In a decision highlighting serious flaws in New York’s gang assault statute, a judge in Sullivan County has dismissed some felony charges lodged against three men implicated in an attack that left a victim brain-damaged.

The threshold problem identified in Sullivan County Judge Frank J. LaBuda’s decision this week is that the gang assault statute signed into law by Governor Pataki in 1996 requires the participation of at least three persons. Two assailants do not make a gang, even if their conduct is indisputably gang-related, LaBuda found.

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