After standing by the high-profile child sex-abuse conviction of Jesse Friedman, who insists he is innocent, Nassau County prosecutors are arguing he has no compelling reason to obtain grand jury testimony and documents connected to his 1988 conviction. Friedman is suing the Nassau District Attorney's Office pursuant to the state's Freedom of Information Law for the release of records related to his 1988 guilty plea, which he now says was coerced (NYLJ, April 23).
The D.A. last month released a 155-page report that concluded Friedman "was not wrongfully convicted" (NYLJ, June 25). The office has already denied Friedman's FOIL request and now he is seeking to overturn the denial. In court papers filed Monday opposing Friedman's bid, the D.A. argues that he "utterly failed in his attempt to show" that the D.A. "erroneously denied his FOIL request and that he has a compelling need for statements from those he admitted victimizing. Petitioner had the opportunity to confront those victims and their statements twenty-five years ago, but he chose not to. He should not be permitted to open old wounds, inflict new wounds, and publicly humiliate his victims now."
The case, Friedman v. Rice, 004015/2013, is before Nassau County Supreme Court Justice F. Dana Winslow (See Profile).