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Report: Judge Throws out Rape Conviction Over Kissing Evidence

February 10, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ A judge threw out a rape conviction based on new evidence that the woman and her assailant were seen kissing at a bar hours before the alleged rape occurred, the Daily News reported today.

Justice Herbert Lipp on Friday ordered a new trial for Carl Johnson, 20, who was convicted last October of raping the woman in the bathroom of a bar in Brooklyn called Kearney and Burke.

Johnson’s lawyer Joseph Gargano introduced new evidence from a bartender at Tara’s, the tavern where the victim worked, the newspaper said.

The bartender, identified as Victoria Hasson, claimed she saw Johnson and his accuser ``kissing intensely″ hours before the alleged rape in October 1994, the News said.

Brooklyn prosecutor Eun He Park reportedly urged the judge to disregard the statement, arguing that the evidence should have been introduced during the trial.

But Lipp ruled that the lawyer had made a good faith effort to find the witness, yet hadn’t succeeded, the paper said.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office was reviewing the decision.

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