A Cup of Joe | Revenge Porn Video Leads To Violent Assault

Friends — That One When I Posted Sex Video of You And Your Boyfriend On Twitter

Seaford, Nassau County, Long Island. A quick 45-minute drive from 950 Third Avenue, and a solid 4 hour 45 minute ride up to get Under the Dome in Syracuse. Seaford has no beaches or public boat ramps. But there are a number of private marinas and Jones Beach is about seven miles away. Seaford is home to Liberty DeVitto, drummer for Billy Joel (Captain Jack). After working with Joel for 30 years, Liberty woke up one fine morning to a phone call from a friend asking why he was not on the 2006 tour with Billy.  He replied that he did not know that Billy was on tour. Liberty later found out that he was fired from drumming duties for the tour for an unknown reason.

But it’s not Billy Joel who’s on trial in this week’s case. This case involves a different old friendship gone bad.

This is a case about media-rage.


ENTER:

Miriam, 27 years old; Leslie, Miriam’s close friend who is a home health aide; Regan, Leslie’s sister.

BACKDROP:

Miriam and Leslie, had a bad falling out. On a calm June day, they traded insults on Facebook. Later that day, Leslie uploaded from the internet a video of Miriam engaging in sexual activity with Miriam’s boyfriend. Leslie reposted the sex video to her Twitter account. About an hour later, regaining her sanity, Leslie deleted the video. The next day, Leslie was working as a home health aide at the home of an elderly person in Seaford, Nassau County. Miriam, her sister Regan, and several other people arrived at the home. When Leslie came outside of the home at the end of her shift, Miriam attacked her. Miriam was arrested for assault. This is Miriam’s trial.

 


THE TRIAL:

Testimony of Leslie

Q: What happened when your health aide shift was over?

A: I opened the door and I saw Miriam, her sister, Regan, and a few of Regan’s friends. I asked Miriam what she was doing and she attacked me and knocked me to the ground. She hit me in the face and scratched me.

Q: Did she hurt you?

A: Yeah, a lot. My nose bled for about a half hour. I had scratches and bruises on my face. I had pain for two or three days.

Q: How long did it take for the scratches and bruises to go away?

A: About a week.

Q: ’Were your clothes damaged?

A: My shirt was ripped and my shirt and pants had blood on them.

Q: Did you hit her at all?

A: No. I was in shock that she attacked me like that. She was my friend.


Cross-examination of Leslie

Q: You had an argument with Miriam the day before she attacked you?

A: Yeah, we had words.

Q: You were arguing with each other on Facebook?

A: Yes.

Q: And a few hours after that Facebook argument you posted a video of Miriam on your Twitter, isn’t that right.

A: Yes.

Q: And it was a sex video of Miriam and her boyfriend?

A: Yes, but I took it down after an hour.

Q: And your testimony is that you did not expect Miriam to react the way that she did.

A: I took it down. I was going to explain that I was wrong for doing that. But she didn’t give me a chance.

Q: You did not go to the hospital after the incident with Miriam, did you?

A: No, not the hospital.

Q: Excuse me? You were so hurt and you did not go to the hospital?

A: No. Not the hospital. I went to my private doctor. She told me to take over-the-counter ibuprofen for the pain.

Q: One last thing: You didn’t actually fall to the ground during the incident, did you? And I remind you that you are under oath.

A: No, not all the way. But I like stumbled.

Q: You were not knocked onto the ground, were you?

A: No. Not to the ground.


Testimony of Regan

Q: You videotaped your sister, Miriam’s, altercation with Leslie, didn’t you?

A: Yeah. I was mad at Leslie for showing the sex video. That was just wrong.

Q: I am now going to show you the video….. [45-SECOND VIDEO PLAYED IN COURT]. Is that the video that you took on your phone?

A: Yes. It is.

Q: And that is a fair and accurate depiction of what happened between Miriam and Leslie at that time.

A: Yeah.

Q: And you did not alter the video in any way, right?

A: That’s right.

Q: And the video shows your sister throwing about eight to ten punches at Leslie and striking her several times.

Q: And, by the way, you posted that video on the internet, correct?

A: Well, you know, what’s good for the goose…

Q: Did you post it or not?

A: Yes.

Q: Now the video is only 45 seconds long, but the incident in total took about 2 minutes, right?

A: About that, yeah.


CLOSING STATEMENT:

Members of the jury, a person is guilty of assault in the third degree when with intent to cause physical injury to another person, she causes such injury to that person. There has been no evidence of intent. Also, the law defines “physical injury” as “substantial pain.” Where is the evidence of substantial pain. You must find Miriam NOT GUILTY.


PROSECUTOR’S CLOSING STATEMENT:

The evidence was sufficient to establish Miriam’s intent to cause physical injury. When Leslie’s shift ended, Miriam arrived at Leslie’s job accompanied by several other persons. Miriam’s sister recorded the altercation, and the video was posted on the internet. The video shows that Miriam struck the Leslie several times. Miriam’s intent to assault Leslie can be inferred from her conduct and the surrounding circumstances. You must do your duty and find Miriam GUILTY.


RULING BY THE JURY

We the jury, find the defendant, Miriam, GUILTY of assault in the third degree.

The conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal.

Stay cool. And, see you next week!


Here is the case:

http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2017/2017_50133.htm

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