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N.Y. Cop to Get Another Hearing

August 8, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge agreed Wednesday to hear new defense testimony that a patrolman convicted of helping torture a Haitian immigrant was a victim of mistaken identity.

U.S. District Judge Eugene Nickerson set an Aug. 15 hearing on Charles Schwarz’s appeal after defense attorneys said former police sergeant Patrick Walsh will testify publicly for the first time.

In a recent sworn statement, Walsh contradicted testimony of a key prosecution witness, Officer Eric Turetzky, who testified Schwarz was the patrolman who escorted Abner Louima to the Brooklyn police station bathroom where he was tortured in 1997.

Walsh claimed Turetzky wasn’t sure if Schwarz or another officer was with Louima.

Schwarz, 35, has denied being in the bathroom when Officer Justin Volpe sodomized Louima with a broken broomstick. After Volpe pleaded guilty, a jury convicted Schwarz in 1999 of violating Louima’s civil rights by restraining him during the assault.

Five officers, including Schwarz, also were convicted of trying to cover up the attack. Schwarz is serving a 15-year sentence.

The defense has argued Schwarz’s two convictions should be thrown out because prosecutors suppressed dozens of statements by other police officers that would have helped clear him _ including that of Walsh.

Walsh only came forward after he retired last year. But defense attorneys said he had immediately told an Internal Affairs Bureau captain about Turetzky’s uncertainty, meaning prosecutors should have known about it and turned it over to the defense.

Prosecutors have said Walsh’s statement is not credible.

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