THE OPUS 30 MISSION is honored to actively advocate for Mr. Charles L. Wynn, a victim of wrongful conviction.
Mr. Charles L. Wynn, Sr. has been incarcerated in the New York prison system since 2003. His conviction was the result of blatant and collective malfeasance on the parts of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, his private trial counsel Brian D. Perskin, Detective Alan Sandomir, former Judge Bonnie G. Wittner, and the OCME (Office of The Chief Medical Examiner). Their collective lies and errors managed to have Mr. Wynn falsely and wrongfully convicted of the crimes of attempted rape, assault and burglary.
This is all evidenced by the Grand Jury and trial transcripts, which clearly document an abundance of unlawful tactics which generated two tragic resolutions:
- Mr. Wynn's wrongful conviction and imprisonment
- The lack of true justice for the victim
This campaign has been created in order to raise funds for Mr. Wynn's legal defense. Specifically, we are raising funds to retain and hire attorney Robert Boyle, of New York City.
Mr. Boyle is an experienced attorney, specializing in post-conviction cases. Our hope is that with Mr. Boyle's aggressive representation, Mr. Wynn's wrongful conviction will be overturned.
The Factual Innocence of Charles L. Wynn, Sr.
A Case Summary
By Charles L. Wynn, Sr.
Edited and Revised by Will Duchon, Director, The Opus 30 Mission
March 4, 2019
It is 2019 and I have been in captivity for the past sixteen years for an alleged crime that I absolutely did not commit.
- BACKGROUND INFORMATION
- MY ARREST
- THE LINEUP, DNA, AND INDICTMENT
- FACTS SUPPORTING MY INNOCENCE
- MORE EVIDENCE
During the afternoon of Wednesday, June 11, 2003 I was having lunch in the Cobble Hill section of my hometown of Brooklyn, NY with Darnell S. Nebith, someone I was romantically involved with at the time. We had presented concerts together on May 17 and 18 of that year at the Bric Studio in Brooklyn. During this lunch meeting we discussed producing a play in the fall, in Newark, NJ. Darnell was employed by the District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, working under disgraced former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. (Darnell often told me that Hynes “did not like me” because I was a parolee). I did meet Mr. Hynes several times, as I would often go to their office to meet Darnell for lunch, or sometimes meet her after work. Darnell also hosted a radio program on an AM station. The program was “Legal Lives”, designed for children who aspire to have careers in law enforcement. This program was aired from New York City Technical College on Jay Street, directly across the street from the Brooklyn D.A.’s office. On this particular afternoon of June 11, 2003 Darnell asked me to marry her. I simply rejected her marriage proposal, and she became irate. I walked away from her in order to avoid an argument in public.
On that same evening (June 11, 2003), two detectives appeared at my home in Brooklyn requesting that I accompany them to answer some questions. Since they did not have a warrant, the choice was mine. I foolishly decided to go with them, and I have not been home since. In my heart I felt secure because I knew that I had done nothing wrong. I am still paying the ultimate price for this lapse of judgement on my part, and for believing in the system. It was 11:45 PM and I left my home accompanied by Detective Alan Sandomir (Shield #5454) from the S.U.V. (Special Victims Unit) , a police sergeant, and another detective, and as soon as we stepped into the elevator with these officers I was handcuffed, and driven to the 26thprecinct in Manhattan.
At the precinct I was interrogated all night long, until the sun rose on the morning of June 12. By that time, I was beyond tired, and very hungry. Clearly, this was a tactic designed to coerce me into a false confession, but I kept telling Det. Sandomir the truth: I was at work on the morning in question (stay with me here). I was finally given a sandwich and several bottles of juice. After finishing each bottle of juice, Det. Sandomir put on a pair of plastic gloves and collected the bottles from me, placing them into a plastic bag. He kept asking me if I was thirsty, and continued to load me up with beverages. I realize now that this was done in order to obtain DNA samples from me, since he had nothing to link me to the crime he was accusing me of.
Minutes later, the nature of the crime was revealed to me. I was informed that nearly three months earlier, on March 25, 2003, a woman was assaulted at 152 W. 49thSt. in Manhattan at 10:40 AM. (At that time, I was on the east side of Manhattan, delivering prints to 300 Park Avenue, at 10:43 AM). My status as a parolee was being used against me, despite the fact that I had been home and on parole for three years without any legal problems whatsoever!
Being permitted one legal call, I called Darnell who sounded very strange over the phone, giving me the sense that she had somehow contributed to the circumstances of my arrest and had literally set me up, possibly with the assistance of her boss, the Brooklyn D.A. Charles J. Hynes. In retrospect I feel that had I agreed to marry this woman, I would not be in prison.
On the morning of June 12, 2003, I was placed in a suggestive lineup. I describe this lineup as suggestive because all of the “fillers” (individuals chosen to take part in the lineup) had thick mustaches, and I did not. I had no attorney present. Detective Sandomir told me that the alleged victim, Mayra Suazo, stated that I “resembled her attacker.” The court-appointed Legal Aid attorney assigned to my case advised me to waive my right to appear before the Grand Jury (?), which I reluctantly did by signing a document to this effect. By doing so, I foolishly botched an opportunity to speak up for myself before a Grand Jury and explain that at the time of this offense I was at work! I told my court-appointed attorney that my DNA was already in the DNA Databank, and therefore I knew I would be cleared. My attorney replied “There is no DNA in this case.”This loaded statement reveals a lot about the falsification element involved in this case!
Sadly, I was wrongly indicted on five charges:
- Sodomy in the first degree
- Attempted rape in the first degree
- Sexual abuse in the first degree
- Burglary in the first degree
- Assault in the second degree
Each of these trumped up charges were exaggerated to create a crime that never even occurred, according to the victim’s Grand Jury testimony, trial testimony, and the trial testimony of the doctor that examined Ms. Suazo, as well as the testimony of the medical assistant. At this point I hired a private attorney from Brooklyn, Brian D. Perskin.
My indictment (#3247/2003) simply does not add up.
- The victim, Mayra Suazo testified that her attacker punched her in the face and choked her. She added that the attacker pulled down her pants and ejaculated onto her bare buttocks, but never came close to penetrating her anally or vaginally.
- Suazo stated that the perpetrator first approached her and had a conversation with her. This would mean that the perpetrator spoke Spanish, since Mayra Suarzo does not speak English. I do not speak Spanish. Suazo added that the perpetrator wrote out his (alleged) phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to her (?). Suarzo gave this vital piece of paper to the police. (This is a very significant point!)
- During my trial, this piece of paper mysteriously “disappeared”. I believe this happened because my fingerprints were NOT on it. This fact clearly amounts to “non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence/Brady material”. Any handwriting expert could have easily compared the handwriting of the perpetrator with my handwriting, thereby excluding me as the perpetrator.
- The first respondent to the crime scene, police officer Tara Mariani (shield # 11839) classified the crime as an “assault” only, according to her police report which she read aloud during her trial testimony.
- Kyra Keblish, the criminalist at the OCME (Office of The Chief Medical Examiner) was the forensic expert who testified at my trial. In her testimony, Keblish stated that she “issued a report on May 19, 2003” which she faxed to the D.A.’s office and the detectives on May 28, 2003. Detective Alan Sandomir testified that it was thirteen days LATER (June 10, 2003) that he received documentation and notification from the OCME that there was a DNA match, linking the evidence in this case to me. Clearly, Ms. Klebish and Detective Sandomir are NOT telling the truth (it is all on record in my transcripts). The proof is in the pudding: the trial transcripts.
- My DNA sample had been on file in the New York State DNA Databank since the year 2000 (before I was released on parole). Therefore, IF there truly was a DNA match which linked me to this crime in any way, the detectives who arrived at my home on June 11, 2003 would have had a warrant for my arrest based upon the DNA match. They had no warrant.
- This fact explains why Detective Sandomir took me to the Manhattan court bullpen on September 17, 2003. This was 6 months after the crime and 3 months after my warrantless arrest.I was taken so that Sandomir could obtain a duplicate DNA sample in order to create a DNA match.
HOWEVER: the law clearly states that there is no rational purpose to take someone’s DNA sample AGAIN if it is already on file (as it was in my case). (See Matter of Abe. A, 56 N.Y., 2d 288, 295-299 (1982); People v. Fomby, 103 A.D. 3d 28 9565 N.Y.S. 2d 623 (2012), and, People v. Husband, 38 Misc. 3d 957 (2012)
- Detective Sandomir lied further by stating that he had a court order to take the second DNA sample from me. I inquired as to this “court order” by contacting the NY County Supreme Court Clerk, Fernando Parra in 2016. Parra responded that “the court order does not exist”. This is clearly “newly discovered evidence” for a 440.10 motion.
- In People v. Rivera184 A.D. 2d 153 9 (1993) the NY Appellate Division First Department ruled that anyone proposing the introduction of evidence of an object associated with a crime must establish 1) that evidence is identical to that involved in the crime, and, 2) the evidence has not been tampered with. Further, the Appellate Division held that “ a gap in the chain of custody between the arresting officers initial possession of evidence and subsequent vouchering of such evidence at the station house rendered (the) evidence to be inadmissible.Proof of an unbroken chain of custody is generally the method of showing accuracy and authenticity of fungible items of evidence. Where there are reasonable assurances of identity and unchanged condition of evidence, deficiencies in chain of custody go to the weight of the evidence, and not its admissibility; however, where circumstances fail to provide such assurances, gap in chain of custody affects inadmissibility of evidence,not just its weight, as in the case-at-bar.”
- According to People v. Smith 30 N.Y. 3d 626, 92 N.E. 3d 789 (2017) “defendant submitting to a buccal swab was a critical stage of the proceedings for which the defendant had a right to counsel.” The First Department Appellate Division ruled in this case that the appropriate remedy for this violation of the defendant’s right to counsel is to vacate the conviction, and to dismiss the indictment. This violation of defendant’s right to counsel resulted in defendant being denied the opportunity to confer with counsel regarding a potential challenge to the taking of inculpatory DNA evidence.” This is clearly more evidence for ruling my indictment as defective, by all means! I was denied my right to counsel regarding a potential challenge to the taking of an unnecessary duplicative DNA sample, which makes the case-at-bar even stranger than the “Smith case”.
- The victim, Ms. Suazo made a voluntary confession in her own testimony of “inadvertent destruction of evidence”. She openly stated that she wiped herself clean with a napkin she had inside her pocket. (page 123, lines 9-12, trial transcript). By so doing, Suazo literally wiped away any DNA evidence that could have proved my factual innocence. The detectives should have retrieved this napkin from the garbage for testing. Since they did not do this and therefore had no DNA, corruption was the only route possible for them to secure a conviction.
- According to her trial testimony, the victim Ms. Suazo described her attacker as follows: “He was in between. He wasn’t really black, but he wasn’t white.” (trial transcript, pg. 80, lines 12-13). She continued (pg. 108, lines 20-23) “Excuse me, but I’m sorry but I have to---in my mind I have to see him with a hat and glasses. That is the only way I would be able to identify him.” She then later states (pg. 109, lines 12-13) “I can’t say it’s him, but it looks like him.” While on the witness stand, during my trial, the ADA Robert D. Ferrari asked Suazo to look around the courtroom and see if she could recognize the person who attacked her on the morning of March 25, 2003. Her response: (pg. 110, lines 22-23) “That man over there looks a little bit like him.” This was her in-court identification of me, which was clearly NOT an affirmative identification. What happened next was unexpected, unthinkable and unethical, to say the least.
- The court asked Suazo “Would you point to him and indicate an article of clothing that he’s wearing, Mayra?” Her response: “The one that has the tie and with the jacket looks like him.” ADA Ferrari then said “Indicating the defendant, your Honor”, to which the Court replied “Well, both Mr. Perskin and---” My trial attorney then violated the Code of Conduct of an attorney when he not only refused to request a mistrial due to the lack of identification, but instead went to the point of no return by effectively assisted the prosecution by saying “I assume it’s him because I’m not….you know, I’m not black.”(pg. 111, lines 2-11, trial transcript). This in itself represents ineffective assistance of trial counsel! (See People v. Baldi (1981), People v. Ugweches (2014), People v. Benevento (1998), andPeople v. Gil (2001).
- I am confident that with the assistance of a good private investigator, the victim Mayra Suazo would provide a recantation affidavit, admitting that I was NOT her attacker. At trial, my attorney Brian Perskin asked Suazo (pg. 125, lines 1-8): “Okay. And when you were going over your testimony with these lawyers, did they tell you certain things that’s very important for you to say to the jury?” Suazo’s reply” “Yes”. Perskin’s next question: “Okay. And there are some things that they wanted you to definitely tell the jury, right, that they said it was very important that you tell it, right?” Suazo’s reply: “Yes.” Clearly, this woman was coached and coerced to say whatever the prosecutors wanted her to say in the courtroom during her testimony in order to convict me.
- Dr. Craig Tenenbaum testified under oath that he NEVER performed any rectal or vaginal exams on Ms. Suazo because she said that there was no penetration. Dr. Tenenbaum worked at St. Vincent’s Hospital where Ms. Suazo went well over an hour after her assault. Suazo stopped at her job before going to the hospital.
- Ms. Rosalyn Burton was the Emergency Medical Physician’s Assistant who assisted Dr. Craig Tenenbaum’s treatment of Mayra Suazo after the assault. At trial, Burton was questioned by my attorney (pg. 317, lines 15-18) as follows: “Does it indicate in the medical records that the assailant’s penis touched Ms. Suazo’s anus, yes or no?” Reply: “No it just says he ejaculated on her.”
- Ms. Nieves Tavares was a co-worker of Mayra Suazo. Tavares’ sworn testimony completely disproves the People’s witness, Det. Alan Sandomir’s claim at my trial that after Ms. Suazo was attacked, “she went straight to the hospital.” In his direct questioning of Tavares, ADA Ferrari asked (pg. 67, lines 19-23) “So, you said, about an hour after Mayra left the church you saw her again?” Response: “She came back, I think…I’m not exact, but could have been around 11:30, around there.” Further into her testimony, (pg. 69, lines 21-24) Question: “And what, in fact, happened?” Response: “We sent her to the hospital.” Question: “To what hospital?” Response: “I think it was St. Vincent’s. “Clearly, Ms. Suazo did NOT go “straight to the hospital” as Det. Sandomir stated (lied about) in his perjurious testimony.
- Officer Tara Mariani, the first respondent to the crime scene on March 25, 2003 never called for an ambulance for the victim, since the victim, Mayra Suazo simply walked away from the crime scene and went back to her job.
- My attorney Brian D. Perskin was grossly ineffective. He never challenged the fact that my DNA sample was illegally extracted for a second time. When I requested that he obtain a copy of the alleged “court order” for me (the supposed “court order” Det. Sandomir claimed to utilize to take a second DNA sample from me) I was told that “it wasn’t necessary” because “the Court Clerk will have the court order” within my file. This amounts to laziness, at the very least.
- Detective Sandomir defrauded me and lied to the jury at my trial in March of 2004. Lying to a jury obstructs the entire process of a trial. Det. Sandomir’s perjurious statement is egregious and was a major contributor to my wrongful conviction. By law, my conviction must now be vacated in the interest of justice.
The chain of custody was broken with my duplicative DNA sample taken by Detective Sandomir, who was allowed and had the opportunity to take this second DNA sample from me on September 17, 2003 in the court bullpen without my attorney being present during my submitting to this buccal swab.
Detective Sandomir was allowed to take this SECOND DNA sample to the Medical Examiner’s office by himself, and voucher it by himself as well. In no way did Det. Sandomir establish that this SECOND sample was not tampered with. Clearly, any DNA evidence in this case is therefore inadmissible, because it is fraudulent and unauthenticated.
- On the day of this crime, March 25, 2003, I was gainfully employed by Cando Litho Printing Company. During my trial, Fran Walter, my supervisor and Anthony Mack, my dispatcher both testified that I was at work on that day. At 10:43AM on March 25, 2003, I was delivering some prints to a location about one mile away from the crime scene. This makes it humanly impossible to place me at the crime scene. The testimony of my dispatcher, Anthony Mack, is compelling regarding this fact: (page 241, lines 25 and pg. 242, lines 1-2). ADA Greenburg asked Anthony Mack “And what time was the package—did you write down that package was delivered?” Response: “I put 10:43”. This means that three minutes after the crime commenced I was one mile away from the crime scene. This fact speaks for itself.
- My wrongful conviction and imprisonment
- The lack of true justice for the victim, Mayra Suazo.
My entire case represents acts of blatant and collective malfeasance on the parts of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, my private trial counsel Brian D. Perskin, Detective Alan Sandomir, former Judge Bonnie G. Wittner, and the OCME (Office of The Chief Medical Examiner). Their collective lies and errors managed to have me falsely and wrongfully convicted of this crime. This is all evidenced by the Grand Jury and trial transcripts, which clearly document an abundance of unlawful tactics which generated two tragic resolutions:
Respectfully submitted, and innocent,
Charles L. Wynn Sr.
Real justice is the crown jewel of our democracy. I can be reached at:
Charles L. Wynn, Sr., #04A1964
Sing Sing Correctional Facility
354 Hunter Street
Ossining, NY 10562