Dozens of criminal cases that hinged on the work of shady ex-NYPD officers — convicted of perjury and other serious crimes — are set to be tossed Monday, prosecutors announced.
The former detectives — Kevin Desormeau, Sasha Cordoba and Oscar Sandino — served as “essential witnesses” in the 60 cases that Queens DA Melinda Katz will ask to be dismissed.
“Earlier this year, my office was informed of a list of NYPD officers who were convicted of crimes which related to serious misconduct in regard to their law enforcement duties,” Katz said in a statement. “Upon receipt of this information, I made a commitment to review the Queens cases in which the officers were the essential witnesses and take appropriate action.”
Katz will ask Queens Supreme Court Justice Michelle Johnson to formally vacate the cases Monday afternoon. The borough’s top prosecutor called the move “the first in an ongoing and systematic review.”
The motion is a result of the office’s Conviction Integrity Unit’s review of the ex-cops’ caseload. The unit still has to review cases from at least seven other officers who were found to have their own rap sheets.
Desormeau and Cordoba were convicted of perjury after lying about a gun bust on Aug. 28, 2014. Fifty-four cases in which the two former detectives served as “essential witnesses” will be tossed as a result.
Sandino pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman arrested back in 2010, according to officials, who will ask to toss six cases tied to his work.
“The vacatur and dismissal of these cases does not constitute a finding of actual innocence and is based instead on a finding of constitutional error and the fact that we cannot re-prosecute these cases where the essential law enforcement witness has forever lost professional credibility,” said Bryce Benjet, director of the CIU.
“That said, we will certainly investigate any claims of actual innocence made by any of these defendants.”
In Brooklyn, more than 70 cases tied to scandal-scarred NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella were reviewed by the DA’s Conviction Integrity Unit, resulting in many convictions also getting tossed.