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The Dutchess County Public Defender's Office will seek leave to appeal a ruling Wednesday by the Appellate Division, Second Department, approving the presence of a trained "comfort dog" to alleviate the anxiety of a young rape victim as she testified (NYLJ, July 11). "I disagree with it completely. I was very disappointed," said Steven Levine, senior assistant public defender. "I hope that, number one, the Court of Appeals will agree to hear the case. And number two, I think they're going to come to a different conclusion." Levine is representing Victor Tohom, who is serving 25 years to life in prison after being convicted at a June 2011 trial.

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