On January 6, 2016, James Valente of Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C. won an order suppressing statements made during a coercive interrogation in a case for aggravated sex assault.
The Judge ruled that the investigating detective had manipulated the defendant by suggesting to the defendant that if he didn’t admit to a crime, the officer would assume that he had been violent or used physical force in the commission of a sexual act. The detective implied that such an assumption would result in serious consequences the defendant could avoid if he would simply admit he “made a mistake.” The detective then used methods the Court found improperly manipulative to elicit statements from the defendant. The Court found that the combination of tactics was improper and coercive.
It was a significant victory given the seriousness of the charges, which would result in a 25 year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted.