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Italian Man Is Allowed To Withdraw 2002 Guilty Plea By SDNY Magistrate Judge Gorenstein

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 21 – An Italian man who pleaded guilty to possession of GHB and GHL in 2002, Marco Pievana, was eighteen years later on August 21 allowed to withdraw his guilty plea by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein.

  The status conference in the old case was set for 10 am. Inner City Press got there at 10:02 by which time Judge Gorenstein was saying, I grant the motion to withdraw the guilty plea. What next?

  The Assistant US Attorney, listed on the docket as Kedar Sanjay Bhatia, asked Judge Gorenstein for three weeks to discuss the case with Pievani's lawyers, four of whom were in the otherwise empty courtroom. Inner City Press was alone in the gallery of Magistrate Judge Gorenstein's courtroom tucked away on the 6th floor of 500 Pearl Street across from the Clerk of Court.

  Judge Gorenstein said fine, and picked September 11. He asked, Do we even need a conference? Or can you just sent me a letter.

  We'll send a letter, the AUSA said. Do all defendants with immigration issues get treated this way? What explains this? Watch this site.

  For background, it is called the writ of error coram nobis, and Judge Gorenstein has signaled he will grant it. In an earlier hearing on the matter Judge Gorenstein said, "I'm not adverse to doing something that's within the bounds of the law. So if you can put that together I'll look at it." The case is US v. Marco Pievani, 02-cr-389 (GWG).

  The 2002 guilty plea left Pievani vulnerable to deportation, something that happens to less affluent, or less well represented, defendants every day in the SDNY.

  Represented by Ellen M. Murphy of the Orrick law firm, Pievani now has a hearing scheduled for August 21, even as Judge Gorenstein is presiding over the SDNY Magistrates Court.

   While many even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are sealed or have case numbers given only later, on August 20 before Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein a man was presented and released with no case number being given.

His name was pronounced Christopher Ansa, charged with among other things exporting stolen motor vehicles. The Assistant US Attorney said he had a passport from Ghana and asked for location monitoring. Judge Gorenstein said the US had not met its burden and said he gave then ten to fifteen minutes to come to an agreement.

Inner City Press stepped out of the Magistrates Courtroom to try to look into the case. Going back in 10 minutes later it was all over - Mr Ansa still in a flannel shirt was being released. In the front Judge Gorenstein was wheeling out a case, to Judge Engelmayer. For this one, the spelling was given: US v. Michael Massaro. Judge Gorenstein asked the after-hours Court Security Officer if he knew how to turn off the lights, because he and his Deputy were leaving. Lights Out.



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