Indictment Should Not Have Been Dismissed Based on Prosecutorial Misconduct
In determining the trial court erred in dismissing the indictment based upon the prosecutorial misconduct, the Fourth Department explained:
“ ‘[D]ismissal of an indictment under CPL 210.35 (5) must meet a high test and is limited to instances of prosecutorial misconduct, fraudulent conduct or errors which potentially prejudice the ultimate decision reached by the [g]rand [j]ury’ ” … . As the Court of Appeals has stated, “not every improper comment, elicitation of inadmissible testimony, impermissible question or mere mistake renders an indictment defective. Typically, the submission of some inadmissible evidence will be deemed fatal only when the remaining evidence is insufficient to sustain the indictment” … .
Here, the prosecutor was required to establish that the four-year-old victim could provide unsworn testimony, but failed to do so… . The prosecutor also violated the unsworn witness rule during an attempt to persuade the child to testify about the incident … . Nevertheless, we conclude that the prosecutor did not thereby engage in conduct that was fraudulent in nature, nor was the prosecutor’s conduct so egregious as to impair the integrity of the grand jury proceedings … . We further conclude that the remaining evidence is legally sufficient to sustain the indictment. People v Elioff, 1002, 4th Dept 10-4-13