September 27, 2022

Albany detectives hid proof, corrupted 2000 sexual abuse circumstance

ALBANY — Backed by sworn statements, together with one particular from the female he was convicted of sexually brutalizing, an Albany man who has served two many years in jail contends town police unsuccessful to disclose a intercourse tape that could have exonerated him and intimidated a possible alibi witness into silence. 

Mohammed X. Poquee, 47, wants a decide to overturn his convictions for the multiday sexual abuse of the girl in a home on St. Joseph’s Terrace in Arbor Hill in late April and early May possibly of 2000. Jurors observed Poquee guilty of first-diploma rape, initial-diploma sodomy and second-degree assault he is serving a 32-yr sentence in Wonderful Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County.

In a motion submitted this month in Albany County Court docket, Poquee’s new lawyer, Trevor Hannigan, highlighted proof uncovered around the past 8 months. It incorporates sworn statements from Poquee as perfectly as would-be alibi witness Melissa Aiezza-Carpinello Poquee’s former demo attorney John Wheldon and the lady Poquee was convicted of raping and sodomizing 22 years back.

“I feel that the defendant must be introduced,” his accuser states in her assertion. She does not, even so, say that Poquee was harmless of the attack.

In 2000, Poquee claimed he was with a woman named “Tasha” for the duration of part of the time in which his victim alleged he had been keeping her hostage in her home. No girl with that title testified at his trial. The Albany County prosecutor, D.J. Rosenbaum, reported she did not think the female existed and questioned the judge for a “lacking witness” charge to the jury that would have cast doubt on the protection claim.

Carpinello, a longtime Albany County community defender, states in the new court docket submitting that she was with Poquee on just one of the nights when he was allegedly committing the crimes. The sexual intercourse tape, which experienced been designed the yr prior to the charges from Poquee, is proof of their romantic relationship.

Carpinello — who explained to the Periods Union she wished to be named in this tale — stated she only acquired of what transpired to the tape when she communicated with Poquee’s accuser in March.

In her assertion provided in the movement, Poquee’s accuser suggests she went to the police department’s South Station in May possibly 2000 and disclosed the existence of the tape for the reason that she considered 1 of the gals depicted on it worked as an legal professional in Metropolis Court. “The police kept the videotape. I hardly ever received the tape back again,” the accuser states. She then told police that Poquee experienced fully commited sexual violence in opposition to her.

Hannigan contends the tape was buried.

“Police took the tape, viewed it, and never disclosed it to the protection or the defendant,” the lawyer states in the movement. “The target delivering a intercourse tape to the law enforcement the day she accused the defendant of rape and sodomy would have been information and facts that would have been product to the defense.”

These proof is acknowledged as “Brady product,” and prosecutors are required to disclose it to the defense prior to a situation coming to trial.

“The defendant could not have experienced a credible protection with no the testimony of his authentic other girlfriend,” Hannigan said, referring to Carpinello.

Carpinello said she could have provided Poquee a “credible alibi” but was “unable to testify at his demo due to the fact I was so terrified of the Albany Police Department and their campaign from me.”

“The Albany Police Division terrorized me for yrs only for the reason that they didn’t like who I dated,” Carpinello told the Instances Union. “Men and women need to know what they did and it is time for me to convey to it. There are people sitting down in prison that shouldn’t be there for the reason that of the misconduct of Albany law enforcement officers. I just can’t stay peaceful about it any longer.”

Hannigan, Poquee and Carpinello directed the blame at two city detectives: Kenneth Wilcox, who died in a car crash in 2006, and Anthony Ryan, who retired as a commander in 2013.

In yet one more twist in the story, Carpinello’s assertion in the submitting reveals that she also had a sexual partnership with Wilcox she promises the detective mentioned her job would be ruined if she did not halt seeing Poquee.  

Hannigan contends Wilcox and Ryan harassed Poquee to get him to source data about the continue to-unsolved murder of Okema Curtis, a government witness shot to dying when actively playing darts in a North Swan Avenue bar on Jan. 2, 1999.

The two detectives “produced it apparent that if he unsuccessful to cooperate he would go ‘away for a extensive time,'” Hannigan states in the motion. “The defendant under no circumstances cooperated.”

In a statement to the Moments Union, Ryan stated, “Considering that a motion has been submitted in court, it would not be acceptable for me to remark on anything at all specific to that motion. Even so, I have certainly no considerations and would gladly testify in courtroom about all of the investigative actions that ended up taken to consider and fix the murder of Okema Curtis.”

Poquee promises Wilcox and Ryan knew about his connection with Carpinello, and that Wilcox grilled him about it all through an interrogation and “hit me a number of moments” while Ryan or one more officer had been in the room. 

But Poquee reported he did not disclose his romantic relationship with Carpinello to his have protection law firm for the reason that Poquee understood she was currently being harassed by law enforcement.

Hannigan said it was unclear if police disclosed the tape to the district attorney’s business, then led by Sol Greenberg. The movement consists of a 2017 Newsday article that documented Rosenbaum, the prosecutor who taken care of Poquee’s situation, experienced subsequently been fired as a Nassau County prosecutor for failing to disclose Brady substance.

“The tape was incredibly substantial and significant Brady product as it shows a motive of the complainant to falsify the allegations,” Hannigan states, referring to the tape’s revelation that Poquee had been in a marriage with Carpinello. He noted that the “whole defense was based on the actuality that the complainant was jealous since of his infidelity, and she was looking for revenge by falsifying the allegations.” 

Rosenbaum declined to comment Friday when attained by the Situations Union. Officer Steve Smith, a spokesman for Albany law enforcement, also declined to comment.

Darrell Camp, a spokesman for Albany County District Legal professional David Soares, reported: “In the curiosity of preserving the integrity of authorized proceedings, the Albany County district attorney’s office is at present unable to comment on the substance of the motion, as it is a pending legal matter.” 

Poquee’s trial legal professional, Wheldon, explained in his assertion: “If (the tape) came from the target and depicted Mr. Poquee engaged in sexual action with a different female it would have been pretty vital to substantiate his variation of functions and his defense, that the allegations ended up all lies coming from a ‘woman scorned’ who was searching for revenge.”

Wilcox and Ryan were at the time of Poquee’s arrest commonly highly regarded investigators. Wilcox, nevertheless, was, soon after his demise, implicated in a mortgage fraud scandal alongside with his former business spouse, Aaron Dare. 

The Poquee circumstance is not the 1st time concerns have been lifted about Wilcox’s function as a detective. Two adult men the as soon as-revered detective served put away in the killing of a faculty college student about two decades back were exonerated and produced from prison in 2016. The metropolis of Albany very last calendar year agreed to pay back $5.75 million to Carl H. Dukes, one particular of the two males wrongly convicted of killing Erik Mitchell in 1997. Dukes and Lavell Jones explained they ended up coerced into confessing a further male, Jeffrey J. Conrad, advised other Albany detectives that he killed Mitchell.

Jones signed his written confession following two sleep-deprived days in custody in the course of which he was interrogated by metropolis detectives. Dukes signed his confession in a courthouse convention space exactly where he was grilled by two detectives although his legal professional waited outside the house, in section, under the perception they preferred to problem his consumer about a theft.

In 1999, Wilcox came beneath scrutiny right after he obtained a comparable detailed murder confession from a 19-calendar year-previous Albany gentleman accused of killing a drug supplier. The suspect, Kevin Cherry, stood trial for murder but a jury deadlocked on his innocence. On the eve of his 2nd demo, Cherry was established cost-free when two other guys had been determined as suspects right after an eyewitness came forward.

Hannigan’s movement is just before Rensselaer County Decide Debra Youthful, who is dealing with the matter because of to the apparent conflicts in Albany. 

Poquee’s preliminary enchantment was unsuccessful, as ended up his efforts to represent himself when he claimed that Wheldon was ineffective because he did not check out to argue that Poquee experienced not been proficient to stand demo. In 2018, Poquee argued that his trial legal professional unsuccessful to notify him of a plea discount he contends he would have accepted.

State Supreme Court docket Justice Peter Lynch denied the motion soon after a hearing.