Jacob (Jack) Sabbagh, a 33-year-old orthodox Jewish cop from Midwood, was just convicted by a jury on the D felony charge (PL 130.80 1B) of engaging in two or more sexual acts with a child under 13 years of age.
He was just released in his own recognizance to come back for sentencing on September 7, 2016.
According to Daily News:
A Brooklyn jury convicted an NYPD officer who’d been caught on tape admitting to molesting a young girl.
Jacob Sabbagh, 33, was busted in December when the now 21-year-old woman came forward to report a family friend touched her inappropriately numerous times when she was between 10 and 13 years old.
As is so common in these cases the defense tried to discredit the accuser. According to the Brooklyn Eagle’s account based on AP, “Defense attorney John Arlia said the victim is delusional and was troubled because her parents had been divorcing.”
Sabbagh went from indictment and arraignment (12/16/15) to jury trial (6/16-22/16) in just six months. No one gets to trial that quickly. Courthouse regulars were shocked by the speed with which he got to trial. Any competent lawyer can put it off. Most judges have crowded calendars and give priority to defendants waiting in jail (usually, because they cannot afford bail).
I suspect he was confident he would prevail at trial and was eager to return to duty as a cop. He was suspended about a year and a half earlier, when the allegations first came to the NYPD.
Sabbagh was not taken into custody after his conviction. Instead he was released on his own recognizance without having to put up any bail.
Sabbagh… was released without bail because of the dated nature of the claims, his ties to the community and his role as a police officer, a law enforcement official said……According to the law enforcement source, it’s not unusual for police officers to be released on their own recognizance for serious crimes. For example, the NYPD officer who was charged with murdering Akai Gurly in [a] Brooklyn housing project stairwell in November 2014 was also released without bail.
I wonder how the DA will handle sentencing. In the Akai Gurley case he made a fuss about pressing the trial and then flip flopped and requested probation with no jail time. Thompson was trying to balance his deference to cops with the sensitivities of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. I am saying that Thompson flip flopped because if no-jail was always his goal he could have gotten that early on with a plea bargain. If he had done that he still would have provoked the anger of #BlackLivesMatter but he would not have also alienated cops.
This time around the politics are different. The orthodox community, to its shame, almost always lobbies for leniency toward those who sexually abuse their own children (unless they are outsiders). While cops are fiercely protective of other cops who shoot civilians, they may be less so when it comes to child sexual abuse. It will be very interesting to see the prosecution’s sentencing arguments.
The judge at trial was A. Marrus, and until the trial his case was handled by Judge D. Chun. The ADA was Grace Lynne Brainard and the defense attorney was John Arlia. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17, 2016 in front of Judge Marrus.