Thursday, December 18, 2008
The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg
Young Woman Charges Two Harrison Police Officers
With Sexual Assault And Civil Rights Violations
Last Monday, December 8th, Civil Rights Attorney Jonathan Lovett, of White Plains, filed a lawsuit against Harrison Police Officer Edward Detlefs and Harrison Police Captain Anthony Marraccini on behalf of his client, Stacey Summa, 27, an attractive female resident, for violation of her rights of privacy, equal protection, and Due Process under the 14th Amendment, as well as her Constitutionally-guaranteed right to be free from excessive force under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, and 42 U.S.C. Section 1985 (3).
Ms. Summa, reportedly a fashion model, was first briefly contacted by Detlefs on New Street, in the Town of Harrison, December 31, 1999 while
she was dressed up for a New Year’s Eve party. Following a brief contact, as she exited a vehicle, Defendant Detlefs commented to his partner, Offi-cer Ralph Tancredi, that he was sexually attracted to Summa. He reportedly would remind Tancredi, over the next seven years, about her good looks and his sexual attraction to her. Then, on November 10, 2006, Summa was traveling in the front passenger seat of her own car, being driven
by Matthew Foglia, as they exited the Hutchinson River Parkway in Harrison.
Officer Detlefs, on patrol with his German Shepherd, in his police car, observed and recognized Plaintiff Summa, and pulled her car over on Westchester Avenue, under false pretenses. Detlefs reportedly forced the driver, Foglia, out of the car after twice offering a false excuse for the stop. Detlefs reportedly next forced Summa out of the car for no good reason other than his desire to sexually assault her.
He positioned her with her back to oncoming traffic, whereupon he reportedly grabbed her breasts, and repeated the act, while Plaintiff Summa repeatedly demanded a female police officer be summoned to the scene. The complaint alleges that Officer Detlefs proceeded to force Summa to
the pavement, and, assisted by an off-duty police officer who put his body weight on her back, Detlefs then “viciously and forcefully shoved his hand up into her vagina with the punitive objective fully realized, of causing her excrutiating pain, serious physical injury, and sexual degradation.”
Defendant Detlefs had Summa’s car removed to police headquarters and arranged to incarcerate Summa there for more than six hours, during which time Captain Marraccini repeatedly demanded that she give him information about supposed criminal wrongdoing by her brother, offering to free her. Upon her refusal to go along with Marraccini’s scheme, her hands and feet were shackled and she was brought to the County Jail, charged and prosecuted for Possession of a Control Substance. Money that she had on her person was taken from her without issuance of a receipt.
Officer Detlefs’ conduct, expressly encouraged and condoned by Captain Marraccini, caused Plaintiff Summa to suffer sexual abuse, gross humiliation, intense physical pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, fear, shame, embarrassment, anxiety, and emotional upset, as well as deprivation of her property and money, rendering her sick and sore.
Summa seeks punitive damages from Detlefs and Marraccini, each in the amount of $10 million, and compensatory damages against them, jointly
and severally, of $25 million. At a press conference on Tuesday, December 9th, Attorney Lovett told reporters, “Police Officer Detlefs’ Forceable Sodomy, while on duty, is not only a federal issue, but a crime.” He went on, “Being savages with a gun and an I.D. is not acceptable.
And, just because Jeanine Pirro condoned this kind of behavior, and Janet DiFiore does nothing about it, doesn’t make it right.” Lovett declared, “There will be many more cases going forward. Where’s the DA? They don’t need a victim’s consent to prosecute. There is a core group of
thugs who commit sexual felonies in the Harrison Police Department.”
U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE FOR THE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
HONORED WITH MULTIPLE
LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that six Assistant United States
Attorneys for the Southern District of New York, along with law enforcement agents and paralegals with whom they worked, received awards
at the Department of Justice’s 25th annual Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) Director’s Awards Ceremony. A total of 160
award recipients were recognized for their excellence in law enforcement. Recipients included Assistant United States Attorneys, law enforcement
agents, litigation and information technology support personnel, and others who have made outstanding contributions in federal, state
and local law enforcement. Acting U.S. Attorney DASSIN said, “These awards provide well-deserved recognition of the skill, tireless dedication,
and professionalism of these attorneys, investigators, and staff.”
Assistant United States Attorneys MIRIAM E. ROCAH, JONATHAN S. KOLODNER, and ERIC SNYDER, along with Federal Bureau of
Investigation Special Agents JOY ADAM, WILLIAM INZIRELLO, and JOHN JENNINGS, as well as New York City Police Department Detective
SALVATORE ARRIGO, received the 2008 Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team for their successful investigation
and prosecution of members of the Genovese Organized Crime Family. This was the first investigation to use “roving bugs” – placed
in the cellular telephones of several targets. The resulting prosecutions helped cripple the Genovese Family’s operations in the greater New
York City area. The team obtained convictions of approximately 35 people, including high-ranking members and associates, and solved the
1998 murder of RALPH COPPOLA.
Assistant United States Attorneys NEIL M. BAROFSKY, CHRISTOPHER L. GARCIA, and RUA M. KELLY, Criminal Investigator ROBERT
MANCHAK, Paralegal Specialists MARY BETH ALLEN, GARY SMITH, and KARYN LEON-MATOVICK, along with United States
Postal Inspectors WILLIAM JOHNSON and HAESUN MOON received the 2008 Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative
Team for their successful investigation and prosecution in connection with the 2005 collapse of the financial giant Refco. This team used a
creative and innovative approach to achieve unprecedented results in an extremely complex case that involved theft of more than $2.4 billion
from the victims. Among the accomplishments: The conviction after trial of Refco’s former President and co-owner; the guilty pleas of Refco’s
former CEO and co-owner, its former Executive Vice President and its Chief Financial Officer; the seizure and forfeiture of more than $150
million; and the indictment of Refco’s outside counsel.
“The attorneys, agents and staff we honor today are dedicated public servants,” said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. “Today’s award
recipients are leaders in carrying out the Department’s mission, and the citizens in the communities they serve should be proud of their efforts