D’Angelo back in court eight months after last appearance in rape and sexual assault case | Crime

BUFFALO — About eight months after his last court appearance, Falls attorney and political operative Nicholas D’Angelo is due back before a judge in his oft-delayed rape and sexual assault case.

A spokesperson for Erie County District Attorney John Flynn confirmed that D’Angelo will appear in Niagara County Court on August 4 for a hearing on a motion filed by his defense attorney. The spokesperson did not provide information on the nature of the request and a copy of the legal file could not be immediately obtained.

D’Angelo will appear in Lockport before Buffalo City Court Judge Debra Givens, who will sit as the acting Niagara County Court Judge. In February, Givens was named to replace retired state Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., who was handling the case.

The latest development in the case came in December when Kloch dropped a charge from the 12-count indictment against D’Angelo. Kloch dismissed a charge of unlawful imprisonment, in a decision made public just 10 days before stepping off the bench.

At the same time, Kloch denied a motion by D’Angelo’s defense asking that the other counts also be dismissed. The former judge also refused to order separate trials for each of the three victims named in the indictment.

D’Angelo, 29, pleaded not guilty to all counts in an indictment that charges him with multiple rapes and sex crimes and dating an underage prostitute. The indictment was delivered by a Niagara County grand jury, which heard evidence presented by Erie County Assistant District Attorney Lynette Reda, who is serving as special prosecutor in the case.

The case was transferred to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office after Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek withdrew from an investigation sparked by a civil lawsuit filed against D’Angelo. Wojtaszek requested the appointment of a special prosecutor in this case because D’Angelo worked as a “volunteer” on his legal campaign.

The indictment charged D’Angelo with one count of first-degree rape, two first-degree criminal sexual act counts and the now-dismissed count of second-degree unlawful imprisonment in connection with a woman identified as “Victim 1”. These crimes allegedly took place in the fall of 2016.

D’Angelo also faces one count of first-degree criminal sexual abuse in connection with a fall 2018 incident involving a woman identified as “Victim 2.”

And he is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree condescension to a person for the purpose of prostitution in connection with encounters between August and October. 2019 involving a woman identified as ‘Victim 3’. Prosecutors described ‘Victim 3’ as a prostitute, who was under the age of 17 during her first two encounters with D’Angelo, and had just turned 17 before. her last meeting with him.

Reda has previously called the evidence in the case “extremely disturbing”.

D’Angelo strongly denied the allegations and said he intended to “take his case to a jury”.

Hearings in this case have been repeatedly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A trial was scheduled sometime in 2022. If D’Angelo were to be found guilty on the 11 counts remaining in the indictment, he could face a potential prison sentence of 35 years.

About Jessica J. Bass

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