Tags: Sanford Rubenstein | Al Sharpton | accusation | rape | exonerated

Rape Charges Dropped Against Sharpton Ally Sanford Rubenstein

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 06:49 PM

Prosecutors won't press charges after investigating rape allegations against a high-profile lawyer and Al Sharpton ally known for bringing lawsuits in cases of alleged police brutality.

Sanford Rubenstein, 70, was under investigation for three months after he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman involved in Sharpton's National Action network — a claim that forced him to step down from his most recent case representing the family of chokehold victim Eric Garner, noted The New York Times, which first reported Rubenstein's exoneration.

Sharpton had said the allegation against Rubenstein put the activist minister "between a rock and a hard place."

"I have never seen anything in his character to suggest that he would assault a woman," Sharpton said at the time, adding, however, about the woman: "I don't see anything to suggest she's a liar."

Rubenstein's clients have included Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant assaulted with a broomstick by officers in Brooklyn in 1997, and Nicole Paultre Bell, the fiancée of Sean Bell, a black man fatally shot by the police outside his bachelor party in 2006, The Times notes.

The accusation surfaced after Sharpton's 60th birthday party, where guests included Aretha Franklin, Spike Lee, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Rubenstein and his 42-year-old accuser attended the party and went back to his apartment afterward, where the woman charged she was attacked.

"Given the available evidence, the degree of the complainant's recollection of what occurred at the suspect's apartment, and the results of the toxicological testing, neither the provable facts nor the applicable law support a prosecution in this matter," said Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney.

Prosecutors said investigators reviewed video surveillance from several locations, physical evidence and medical records, and interviewed 48 people, including the woman, Rubenstein, a friend who accompanied the woman to Rubenstein's apartment, guests at Sharpton's party and apartment building workers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Prosecutors won't press charges after investigating rape allegations against a high-profile lawyer and Al Sharpton ally known for bringing lawsuits in cases of alleged police brutality. Sanford Rubenstein, 70, was under investigation for three months after he was accused of...
Sanford Rubenstein, Al Sharpton, accusation, rape, exonerated
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Monday, 05 Jan 2015 06:49 PM
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