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New Testimony Given in Louima Case

August 15, 2001

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A former police sergeant testified Wednesday that investigators ignored signs that a key witness who implicated an officer in the Abner Louima assault was unreliable.

Patrick Walsh said he told superiors that the witness, patrolman Eric Turetzky, ``could not make a positive identification″ of the officer who led Louima to the bathroom where he became the victim of one of the most shameful cases of brutality in the city’s history.

Turetzky had testified at trial that Schwarz escorted Louima to the bathroom, but Walsh says Turetzky told him he wasn’t sure of the identification.

Walsh said authorities apparently dismissed his concerns and arrested Officer Charles Schwarz.

``I had said it a lot and I had said it loud, but nobody listened to me,″ he testified.

Walsh’s statement is central to an appeal by Schwarz, 36, who was convicted of holding down Louima while another officer sodomized the Haitian immigrant with a broken broomstick in the 70th Precinct bathroom in 1997. Schwarz is serving a 15-year sentence.

Schwarz’s lawyers have accused prosecutors of suppressing evidence that would have helped prove Schwarz was a victim of mistaken identity. Prosecutors contend that Walsh is not a credible witness.

Prosecutors dismiss the new testimony as worthless. They insist Schwarz held down Louima while former officer Justin Volpe, who pleaded guilty and is serving 30 years in prison, attacked him.

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