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Brooklyn Prosecutor in Charge of Sex-Trafficking Prosecutions, Resigns
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Lauren Hersh, the chief of the sex-trafficking unit of Brooklyn District Attorney’s office has resigned last week over failure to submit key evidence in a high profile case. The concerned case involved the rape of a 13-year old girl by four men – Darrell Dula, Damien Crooks, Jamali Brockett and Jawara Brockett. In June 2011, Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn District Attorney had called a press conference and announced the indictment of the four men.

However, recently several internal reports were revealed showing that the alleged victim may have recanted her statement a few days before the four men were indicted. The report circulated among the defense and prosecution attorneys and both Dua and Crooks had first their bail reduced and then released from jail. The other two accused have been kept behind the bars in charges unrelated to the rape case.

The DA said that an ethics panel had been called and after exhaustive review, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Hersh had violated New York’s Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers. “However, the panel will make recommendations to me regarding the training, development and supervision of lawyers highlighted by this matter, to insure the highest degree of ethical conduct and compliance with the rules of professional conduct,” said Hynes.

  
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Lauren Hersh had been leading the sex-trafficking unit since its formation in 2010.

The attorney for one of the accused, Elliot Kay, said “They were either aware of the documents, or they should have been aware of the documents before they presented the case to the grand jury.”

Hersh’s loss would be felt y the department and as stated by Dorchen Leidholdt, chair of the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, her departure was a “real loss.” She said, “I’d call her a true visionary … as a result of her work, prosecutors are far better equipped to deal with these complex cases that often involve ambivalent victims.”

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