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In Sex Trafficking Case Stopped Amid COVID Now Rivera Jury Trial Has Victim Testifying

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Thread
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 9 – In the sex trafficking trial of US v. Carl Andrews that Inner City Press has been reporting on despite a partially sealed courtroom and US Attorney withholding of exhibits, the defense on March 14, 2020 asked for and got a stay and then end of the trial.

The reason? Coronavirus COVID-19.

  For that re-trial one of the US Attorney's Office's witnesses is blamed for putting the jury, court staff, and the Press at risk (Inner City Press witnessed and reported on her March 12 testimony, here), see below.

On April 21, 2021, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer held a conference in the run-up to the related US v. Rivera trial, set for June.

Now on June 9, the US Attorney's office is nearing closing its case. On the afternoon of June 9 victim Natalie Rivera answered question after question from the Assistant US Attorney, like:

  Did you want to keeping to prostitute for him?

Answer: No.

   What did he mean by, you're my bottom b-word?

  Answer: That's how pimps keep their prostitutes.

  Her testimony came across as forthright, as least to this reporter. The jury filed out at 4:55 pm, and Judge Engelmayer arranged for defense lawyer Anthony Cecutti to meet with Rivera inside 40 Foley before he was taken back to the MCC. The government may rest on June 10, and a Rule 29 motion be made. Will there be a defense case? Watch this site.

Back on March 22, Judge Engelmayer held another proceeding, and Inner City Press again covered it. One of the issues involved Justin Rivera being moved out of the SHU in the MCC. His laptop with discovery on it should be transferred with him, Judge Engelmayer said. He suggested the Rivera's counsel email the MCC, copying the US Attorney's Office which should "me too it," Judge Engelmayer said. Watch this site.

  On January 4, Judge Engelmayer held a telephone conference about the new and belated files, and Inner City Press covered it. Because the US Attorney's Office maintained that the trial should still go forward on February 16, Judge Engelmayer said 3500 material would be due - and, on January 15, a letter reporting (Nejad-style) on its investigation as to how the discovery lapse came about." Watch this site.

The case is now US v. Rivera, 19-cr-131 (Engelmayer).


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