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In SDNY Child Prostitution Defense of Claudius English Rests As NYPD Destroyed Bullets After Moving Seagram Gin

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 7 – A young woman who was pimped out and forced to quit high school testified on June 5 in a disturbing prostitution prosecution case proceeding before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul G. Gardephe.

  By the afternoon of June 7 the two lawyers for defendant Claudius English rested their case, with a final volley of questions for a police officer from the Bronx' 46th Precinct about whether a bottle of Seagram's gin taken from English's apartment in 1995 Davidson Avenue had been open or closed.

  The deeper problem, it has emerged, is that the New York Police Department destroyed evidence they took from English's apartment: three bullets and a holster. The government will submitted a letter to Judge Gardephe by Saturday, June 8 at noon on how the issue should be addressed in the jury charge.

On Monday, June 10 come the summations and said jury charge. Judge Gardephe's courtroom Deputy told the juror that on Monday, "Lunch is on us," after discussing the admittedly overpriced in-house Sorriso's Court House Cafe ("Established 2019").

  Will the NYPD's grossly negligent destruction of evidence in 2018 from a 2013 arrest allow impunity for these charges of child sex trafficking?

Earlier in Judge Gardephe courtroom with an otherwise empty gallery, a witness whom Inner City Press will not name and whose information will be sealed in the transcript testified to being forced into oral sex by a pimp, whom she called Jay, who fired a gun from his roof and threatened her Irvington, New Jersey parents.

  On June 6 the trial continued, with a Special Agent Nelson testifying about IP addresses from which advertisements were taken out. The case is USA v. Claudius English a/k/a Jay Barnes a/k/a Brent English, 18-cr-492 (PGG).

 The conduct at issue - the shooting of a gun from the roof, the forced sex, the buying of advertisements and re-sale of Shitsu dog - took place in an apartment building on  Davidson Avenue in The Bronx. The payments were made through Comerica Bank.

  The witness, called Victim-1 in the initially sealed Complaint, for a time took the NYC subway and the PATH train to her high school in New Jersey, then stopped. She was forced to have sex with men, and was attacked for dating boys her own age. She lost her Shitsu dog.

  The defense, doing its job, ended June 5 questioning the quality of disclosure, no 3500 material about the witnesses interviews with prosecutors in The Bronx. Judge Gardephe told the US Attorney's Office to look into it.

  Later on June 5 Assistant US Attorneys Michael Krouse and Ni Qian wrote to Judge Gardephe that they had "spoke[n] by phone to the two relevant former Bronx ADAs, Lauren Di Chiara and Meagan Powers. Both stated they met with Sarah W. before she testified in the grand jury, but that they do not believe they took notes."

  Perhaps they should have - in the state case against him, Claudius English got part of the search warrants against him quashed, see NYS decision here. Perhaps it emboldened him to go to trial on the Federal charges rather that plea bargain. As the trial nears its end, the wisdom of that decision will soon be seen. Watch this site.


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