Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Federal suit against Monroe County dismissed

Plaintiff will appeal to Second Circuit

By: Bennett Loudon//July 23, 2019

Federal suit against Monroe County dismissed

Plaintiff will appeal to Second Circuit

By: Bennett Loudon//July 23, 2019//

Listen to this article

Charles Pierre is planning to appeal a federal judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit claiming Rochester and Monroe County officials violated the plaintiff’s civil rights by failing to disclose exculpatory evidence promptly in a murder case.

In September, U.S. District Court Judge Charles J. Siragusa granted a motion from the city of Rochester, the Rochester Police Department and former Monroe County District Attorney Michael Green to dismiss the lawsuit.

In a separate decision released Monday, Siragusa also dismissed the case against the remaining defendants — Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley, the DA’s Office, and Monroe County.

Pierre’s lawyer, Van White actually welcomed the decision, which he anticipated, because it now allows him to appeal Siragusa’s decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

“We weren’t even able to proceed on the appeal involving the city because this was considered part of the case below,” White said.

“Now that he’s made a decision, it allows us to proceed with seeking a Second Circuit decision on these underlying issues,” White said.

Pierre has also filed a separate wrongful imprisonment claim against New York state in the state court of claims, White said.

The other suit, which accused the defendants of false arrest and malicious prosecution, was initially filed in June 2016 in state Supreme Court by Pierre, who served 14 years for two murders he did not commit.

In June 2003, Pierre was convicted in the deaths of Clara Sconiers and Thomas Reed, who were killed in August 2002. Pierre was sentenced to two consecutive 25-years-to-life terms in prison, without the possibility of parole.

In September 2005 the Rochester Police Department became aware someone else may have committed the murders, but they didn’t follow up on the lead and verify the information until May 2012.

Pierre was not given the information until Nov. 25, 2013, about 19 months after it was verified — and eight years after it first surfaced.

In July 2014 Monroe County Court Judge Douglas A. Randall vacated the conviction, based on the new evidence. At a hearing held by Randall, two witnesses testified that the real killer told them he beat Sconiers and Reed with a baseball bat and started a fire to destroy the evidence.

The killer committed another murder in 2007 in a similar fashion, according to the suit.

The DA’s Office appealed Randall’s decision to the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court. In June 2015 the Fourth Department ruled in Pierre’s favor and granted a new trial; in August 2015, he was acquitted of all charges.

Pierre was deported to Trinidad in November 2015 as an illegal immigrant.

[email protected] (585) 232-2035

Case Digests

See all Case Digests

Law News

See All Law News


How Is My Site?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...