The following statement was read at the Bronx Criminal Court on January 14th . Requesting that a special prosecutor be appointed for this case. I am asking that the Bronx District attorney be removed from my case because the DA's election lawyer is also the lawyer for the father of the man who assaulted me. The lawyer, Stanley K. Schlein, a well known lobbying is representing Senator Pedro Espada, he was the lawyer representing D.A. Johson against accusations that he live in Westchester County. Sound familiar? (see article by Sam Roberts NY Times July 26, 2005).Pedro Espada Jr. live in Westchester County too. (See article on the NY Times, June 26, 2008, by Nicholas Confesore). In view of the relationship between attorney Stanley K. Schlein, Senator Pedro Espada, Bronx District Attorney, Robert T. Johnson, and the Bronx Democratic party machine the case against Alejandro Espada, in the interest of justice should be investigate by special prosecutor.
Judge Joseph Dawson denies the request, and let Espada to go with a slap on the wrist.
In light of the AG investigation of Espada I am in contact with lawyer to see if this relationship between the DA and Pedro Espada violated my constitutional rights as an American citizen, lets alone a journalist
IMPACT STATEMENT OF RAFAEL MARTINEZ ALEQUIN
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE JOSEPH DAWSON
Bronx Criminal Court
January 14, 2010
Your Honor in the name of Justice you must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and make the proper charges in this case. The same political machine that supports Senator Espada is critical for the reelection of the Bronx DA. In fact the political operative who works for Espada represented the Bronx DA in a case where he was acused of not living in the Bronx.
I am appalled at the way our County legal system allowed Alejandro Espada to get away with a simple “slap on the wrist.” This is not just my opinion. A recent Daily News article on this case also used the term “slap on the wrist.” Even considering my limited understanding of the criminal justice system, Alejandro should have been convicted of assault. Pedro Espada Jr., who avoided even being charged, should have been convicted of being an accessory to a crime. He encouraged his son, Alejandro to attack me. And then, as I was being assaulted, he said to me “this is to teach you manners papa”. All this was captured in the video I provided to the prosecutors. At no time did Pedro Espada Jr. attempt to restrain his son from the vicious attack on me. In fact, he ignored my plea for help and instead acted like a vigilante. This is unbecoming of a person in high office. See video below.
Video: Rafael Martínez Alequin
Prior to the September 7, 2008 incident, Ms. Marzetta Harris, an Espada protégé and campaign worker, threatened me and said that her brother “will put you in a body bag”. This was in connection with my questioning Pedro Espada Jr., as to why he was using employees of the Soundview Health Center to collect petitions for the primary of September 11, 2008 as they distributed food to potential voters.
A matter such as this should be given the highest degree of attention. This case is representative of more than harassment. Clearly, this was an assault against an innocent victim, a member of the press, who believes in our democratic principles and freedom of speech. Perhaps this is contrary to what the Espadas believe. It is interesting to note that the Espadas also attempted to bribe me if I remained quiet about the attack. They offered to pay for the camera, if I did not pursue the legal option. And now, this court is considering entering a judgment that would allow Alejandro Espada to walk away from his responsibilities by paying for the camera, just as he wished. This deal made by Espada only recognizes the harm done to my property. (I was surprised to learn that the 50th Precinct Officer opted to file a complaint about my video camera being broken when, in fact, I was viciously attacked and assaulted. The 50th Precinct officers call EMT to take me to Montefiore Hospital). What of the harm to me personally? And what about the potentially chilling effect on the press? It is unfortunate that a politician can resort to these actions and not be held fully accountable. I would consider the decision not to charge Alejandro with assault as well as the decision not to charge Senator Espada with being an accessory, to be a travesty of justice.
Throughout my career as a journalist, I have often asked politicians such as Dinkins, Giuliani, Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki and others pointed questions. While they did not always like my questions, no one threatened, harassed or assaulted me—Until now.
The assault upon me is a culmination of a long standing campaign by Pedro Espada Jr., to suppress inquiries pertaining to his legal residence; and misappropriation of public funds. There are indications that he used monies in conjunction with agency employees that were paid from his publicly funded health center for his political ventures, among other irregularities.
I am pleased that this assault case was brought to this court, and that Alejandro Espada partially admitted to his guilt. Unfortunately, Senator Pedro Espada Jr., was not charged, although he was just as guilty. He encouraged his son to beat up on a 76 year old man. In addition, the statement of Ms. Marzetta Harris who threatened to take my life is also of concern to me. Therefore, I would implore the court to consider a more appropriate and justifiable ruling on this case; considering all of the mentioned variables involved. The ruling of $432.00 takes no account of the emotional and physical damages that I suffered. It also sets a precedent wherein politicians can resort to suppression of the press in order to remain in or gain power.
Beyond this, I would respectfully ask the court, law enforcement personnel and all who are privy to this statement to maintain a watchful eye on Senator Pedro Espada Jr. The public is deserving of full disclosure and better representation in the state Senate.
I urge Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and the Bronx District Attorney to continue to vigorously pursue their investigation of Senator Espada.