The Fourth Department, affirming defendant’s conviction, noted that allowing the adult victim to testify accompanied by a dog may have been an error but was unpreserved. The court also found that a remark made by the prosecutor was improper (but not reversible error) and took the opportunity to address prosecutorial misconduct generally:
We conclude that defendant’s contention that the court abused its discretion when it permitted the adult victim to testify while accompanied by a dog is unpreserved because defendant did not object to that arrangement … . … Even assuming, arguendo, that defense counsel erred in not objecting to the court’s decision to let the victim testify while accompanied by a dog … , we conclude that the failure to object did not amount to ineffective assistance … .
… [I]t was improper for the prosecutor on summation to characterize defense counsel’s summation as evincing “a Brock Turner mentality”—inflaming the passions of the jury by specifically referring to a recent sexual assault case of nationwide notoriety that involved allegations similar to those made against defendant … .
… [W]e … take this opportunity to remind the People that ” [i]t is not enough for [a prosecutor] to be intent on the prosecution of [the] case. Granted that [the prosecutor’s] paramount obligation is to the public, [he or she] must never lose sight of the fact that a defendant, as an integral member of the body politic, is entitled to a full measure of fairness. Put another way, [the prosecutor’s] mission is not so much to convict as it is to achieve a just result’ ” … . To that end, we emphasize that “[p]rosecutors play a distinctive role in the search for truth in criminal cases. As public officers they are charged not simply with seeking convictions but also with ensuring that justice is done. This role gives rise to special responsibilities—constitutional, statutory, ethical, personal—to safeguard the integrity of criminal proceedings and fairness in the criminal process” … . People v Carlson, 2020 NY Slip Op 03336, Fourth Dept 6-12-20