DA VANCE ANNOUNCES SENTENCING OF FORMER DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OFFICIAL FOLLOWING HIS AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ABUSE CONVICTION

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of LAURENCE HARVEY, 47, to 25 years in prison and 8 years of post-release supervision following his conviction at trial on eight counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First, Second, and Third Degrees, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, and Assault in the Second Degree.

“Today, a defendant received a just sentence for a series of brutal sexual attacks,” District Attorney Vance said. “We commend the victim for her bravery in coming forward and persevering through a difficult trial. We hope that her courage will encourage more victims to report crimes of a sexual nature, including those that take place in the home.”

Assistant District Attorneys Michele Bayer and Jennifer Barron prosecuted the case under the supervision of Martha Bashford, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, and Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau.

Although violent street crime has declined in New York City over the past year, domestic violence has not. Last year, nearly 5,500 domestic violence cases were filed in Manhattan courthouse alone, which represents an increase from prior years. Additionally, the New York City Police Department receives about 700 domestic abuse complaints every day, but only an estimated one-quarter to one-half of all incidents of domestic violence are ever reported to the police. Domestic violence abusers are frequently repeat offenders who abuse their victims more than once. According to the Mayor’s Office, 38 percent of battered women are victimized again within 6 months.

In 2011, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, along with elected officials, members of law enforcement, and advocates for victims of domestic violence, called for the passage of the bipartisan Aggravated Domestic Violence bill, which would create a class E felony charge for offenders who repeatedly engage in domestic violence offenses. Under current law, domestic violence offenders who commit misdemeanor offenses face the same sentence on their 10th or 100th conviction as they do on their first.

But under the proposed bill, which last year passed the State Assembly but not the State Senate, an offender who is convicted of two or more qualifying misdemeanor offenses within 5 years against a member of his or her family or household may be charged with a class-E felony. This includes abuse against intimate partners, non-traditional familial relationships, and adult children abusing parents. With an E felony conviction, the defendant would, at a minimum, be under probation supervision for 5 years, and in more serious cases, could and should be sent to state prison. This law would also better protect families by extending the period of time for orders of protection because felony orders last almost twice as long as those from misdemeanor cases. The District Attorney’s Office will continue to push for this needed legislation in the belief that it will enable the criminal justice system to better protect victims and their families.

Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office will host several domestic violence presentations in the month of October at various locations in Manhattan, including barbershops in the Washington Heights and Inwood communities, to educate the public on the consequences of domestic violence. Past presentations include events at the Juan Unisex Salon Barbershop on West 204th Street and Franklyn & Ernesto Barber Shop on Saint Nicholas Avenue in which representatives from the District Attorney’s Office discussed identifying different types of abuse, its impact on children, and resources for victims. Upcoming presentations include:

October 4, 2011, 6 p.m., Jacob A. Riis Community Center: Domestic Violence presentation
October 11, 2011, 6 p.m., Baruch Community Center: Domestic Violence presentation
October 12, 2011, 7 p.m.: Manhattan Borough President’s Domestic Violence event in Times Square
October 20, 2011, 6:30 p.m., 10 Stanton Street: Domestic Violence presentation
October 25, 2011, 6 p.m., Campos Plaza Community Center: Domestic Violence presentation
October 27, 2011, 2 p.m., Hamilton-Madison House: Domestic Violence presentation
October 27, 2011, 6 p.m., Adam Clayton State Office building: We All Really Matter (W.A.R.M.) Domestic Violence Panel
For more information on the District Attorney’s proposed legislation or to access resources for victims of domestic violence, including a schedule of upcoming events and informational sessions, please visit www.manhattanda.com. Those seeking immediate assistance can call the District Attorney’s domestic violence hotline at 212-335-4308 or dial 911.

Defendant Information:

LAURENCE HARVEY, D.O.B. 03/19/1964

Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, two counts
Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, one count
Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, two counts
Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, five counts
Assault in the Second Degree, two counts

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