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State v. Santiago

Supreme Court of New York County
2003 WL 21507176


Facts

Victor Santiago (defendant) was charged with violating an order of protection issued to protect Angela R., a woman with whom Santiago had been living for many years. Santiago had a long history of physical violence against Angela, including multiple violations of earlier orders of protection. After his arrest, Santiago made multiple attempts to reconcile with Angela and to convince her to do whatever was necessary to keep him out of prison. Ultimately, Angela informed the prosecution that she no longer wished to press charges against Santiago. She further stated that, if the prosecution did not drop the case, she would declare that the police and district attorney fabricated her previous statements about Santiago’s violence. In response, the prosecution asked the court to allow it to introduce Angela’s grand jury testimony and other out of court statements at trial. Specifically, the prosecution argued that such out of court statements were admissible because Santiago’s longstanding pattern of physical and emotional abuse had rendered Angela an “unavailable witness.” Santiago opposed the prosecution’s request.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Atlas, J.)

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