New York City jails tape all phone calls made by prisoners, with the exception of calls to doctors and lawyers. Prosecutors have been using these tapes against these prisoners. More than 8,200 calls were taped last year in New York City jails. The largest number of taped phone calls were used in domestic violence cases.
Men charged with assaulting and beating their wives and girlfriends seem to be blabber mouths. “I need you to prepare the kids to start lying” was stated by one man to his girlfriend on one of these taped conversations. In another case, the prisoner told his girlfriend, “whatever you do, do not speak to the District Attorney.”
Scott Kesler, the Bureau Chief in the Queens District Attorney’s office, stated the records “revolutionized the way we were able to proceed against men in domestic violence cases.” Mr. Kesler stated that we now have to ability “to prove what we’ve always suspected, which is that defendants in domestic violence cases are in constant contact with their victims and they utilize the phone system to intimidate their victims and refuse to cooperate in their prosecution.”
In virtually all domestic violence cases, the abused individuals are given orders of protection preventing the abuser from having contact with them. These jail house calls are in violation of the court ordered orders of protection and constitute a crime in and of themselves. In one case in Kings County, the abuser called the victim 1,200 times while he was incarcerated. Sometimes the victims are so traumatized by these phone calls that they refuse to cooperate with the prosecutors. In these situations, the District Attorneys office can utilize the recordings to explain why the victims are refusing to testify.
In a case involving Mohammd Khan, who was charged with stabbing his wife in the head and shoulders with a meat cleaver, the wife testified she did not remember who her attacker was. The recordings showed that Mr. Khan had engaged in a campaign of coercion against his spouse. Prosecutors were able to introduce her statements made in the hospital during the course of the proceedings against Mr. Khan. Mr. Khan was convicted and eventually sentenced to 7 to 10 years in prison.
If you are arrested, it is generally not in your interest to speak about the alleged crime you have committed. The fathers’ rights lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represent fathers concerning the following matters related to divorces and family court proceedings: orders of protection; child custody; child visitation; child support; spousal maintenance (alimony); child abuse; child neglect; CPS and ACS cases; paternity and equitable distribution; negotiating separation agreements, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Feel free to call us for a free consultation. We can protect your rights.