Man Falsely Convicted of Child Sexual Abuse Awarded $2 Million from New York StateWritten by: Rob Print This Article
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Amine Baba-Ali was falsely convicted of child sexual abuse against his four year old daughter based upon false accusations from his ex-wife, lies from a doctor, and prosecution fraud by the New York City Queens District Attorney’s Office. Although his conviction was overturned in 1992 and he was released from prison, he continues to be persecuted due to the false conviction. The persecution has continued for two decades, despite the conviction being overturned. It has even extended to Mr. Baba-Ali being turned down for a job with the Census Bureau on account of the false conviction. The $2 million awarded to Mr. Babi-Ali in March 2009 by the New York State Court of Claims just barely begins to make up for what the government wrongfully did to ruin this man’s life and deprive his daughter of a father.
Vindicated, but Still Not Freed From Court’s Injustice
(excerpted from New York Times)
Amine Baba-Ali, a father wrongly convicted of raping and molesting his 4-year-old daughter, is the first person ever held by a state court to have satisfied every facet of the unjust-conviction law that he sued New York State under, according to the court’s decision. His lawyers proved that the Queens district attorney’s office fraudulently prosecuted him for a crime he did not commit. The court awarded him $2,093,428.
But Mr. Baba-Ali, 52, cannot shake the sense that this case will haunt him for a lifetime, not least because his daughter, now 26, was forever removed from him once he was convicted. He has not seen her for two decades, and has no idea where she is living.
“Though I am thankful, the fact of the matter is that I’ve lost my daughter,” Mr. Baba-Ali said in an telephone interview from his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday. “I’ve lost the most important part of my life.”
Mr. Baba-Ali’s public defender botched the defense and was later banned from the public defender program. He failed to subpoena for testimony two other doctors who has examined the child and concluded that she has not been molested as claimed. The Deputy DA who wrongfully prosecuted the case, Elizabeth Loconsolo, apparently suffered no disciplinary action for her misconduct. And the city health department employee, Dr. Nadine Sabbagh, who lied in court to get a conviction also was not punished in any way for her perjury.
The judge in the case who awarded the $2 million for wrongful prosecution and imprisonment was very clear that Dr. Sabbagh lied and was the only witness to provide evidence:
Judge Schweitzer was scathing about Dr. Sabbagh’s testimony: “The only witness who provided evidence of such abuse had lied, and in fact there was no credible evidence his daughter had ever been molested.”
“For claimant’s mental anguish and degradation occasioned by being labeled a child molester of his 4-year-old daughter; for the irretrievable loss of his relationship with his daughter promixately caused by his conviction; for his loss of liberty into the most fearsome maximum security prison environment that an innocent man may be thrust,” the judge said, he was awarding him $2 million.
Injustice is common in family law courts and any court dealing with accusations of child abuse. Often the mere accusation is enough to get a conviction because government employees, be they doctors, police officers, or CPS social workers, will lie to the court to obtain a conviction for a crime that may never have even occurred. Prosecutors often know or should know their evidence is poor and their witnesses are liars, but they prosecute anyway. Even if no charges are ever files, false allegations frequently severely damage the victim’s and their children’s lives. Yet the false accusers seldom if ever pay any penalty for their crimes.
This kind of misconduct is yet another incident like the false prosecutions in California of James Wade and Dale Akiki and the McMartin Preschool staff in the 1990s. When will government learn to stop falsely prosecuting people and to stop lying in court? The San Diego Grand Jury investigated two of these cases and found that CPS social workers, law enforcement agents, and government employees routinely commit perjury. They concluded that the immunity of government employees such as CPS social workers must be stripped in cases of blatant misconduct if there is any hope of stopping the lies and false prosecutions.
People like Elizabeth Jane Via (the prosecutor involved in the Wade case), Elizabeth Loconsolo, and Dr. Sabbagh should have been prosecuted for perjury and civil rights abuses. Instead, they kept their government jobs or moved on to new ones while their victims’ lives were ruined.
We think they won’t learn their lesson until the government employees responsible for such atrocities are imprisoned, fined, and/or executed for knowingly and wrongfully destroying the lives of others in violation of US and state laws. Execution of a government employee for misconduct may at first glance seem extreme, but consider the case of the two Pennsylvania judges who wrongly sent thousands of children to private jails for $2.6 million in kickbacks. Many have noted that government employees like these deserve the death penalty for the severity and repeated damage they caused. (See our previous story on this entitled Corrupt Pennsylvania Courts Jail Kids for Cash.)
It is long past time for the people of nations that engage in such abuses to demand that abusive and dishonest prosecutors, judges, and other government employees suffer termination from their jobs, ineligibility for any future government employment, and prosecution for their crimes. Lying parents who initiated the false allegations must pay a penalty, too.
Canadian Senator Anne Cools understands the need for change to stop the abuse of the courts by dishonest parents during court battles:
Cools made this point during a Senate debate on a bill to amend Canada’s criminal code. She said the problem could be traced to the “mischief of litigating partners, usually mothers, suddenly within the context of divorce and within child custody proceedings, falsely accusing the other party, usually fathers, of the sexual abuse of their own children”.
“These kinds of cases arose quite often in Canada and elsewhere in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, usually because of what I call conspiracy against fathers,” she told the SATURDAY SUN.
“Far too many prosecutors believed that mothers didn’t lie about these things and as a result, many fathers lost custody of their children or were denied a role in their children’s upbringing, all because of false allegations,” she added.
We support the efforts of legislators like Anne Cools to change the legal landscape to ensure that false allegations are not used in child custody battles, that attempts to make use of false allegations are punished with criminal prosecution, and that government employees who knowingly participate in lying and wrongful prosecution pay dearly for their crimes.