Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Suppression ruling issued in case of alleged sexual abuse

Finger Lakes Times:
WATERLOO — Seneca County Judge Dennis Bender has ruled statements by a town resident accused of sexually abusing two young boys can be used if the case goes to trial.

In a ruling issued earlier this month, Bender said police properly gave Ronald Spoor his Miranda rights before statements he made to them in December 2012. The statements, some of which are on an audiotape, were the focus of a suppression hearing last month in Spoor’s case….

Spoor’s attorney, Steven Getman, argued police improperly gave Spoor his Miranda warning …. Getman sought to have the audiotape suppressed and not played at Spoor’s trial, which has not been scheduled.

Spoor said he had several beers before Grbic arrived at his house, had trouble understanding the Miranda rights and has difficulty reading. He claimed police coerced him into a confession after he repeatedly denied the allegations….

Getman said while he was disappointed in the ruling on the statements, he was happy to see Bender rule that uncharged crimes …can’t be used at trial.

“If the jury listens to the recording, we hope they will see the context in which those statements were made,” Getman said.

The charges against the defendants are accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Getman reappointed to ethics board

Steven J. Getman has been reappointed to serve as a member of the Tompkins County Ethics Advisory Board.

Getman was reappointed to the board by the Tompkins County legislature at its meeting December 17, 2013. His term expires December 31, 2017.

Under provisions of the County Code of Ethics, the five-member board meets at least once a year and at other times, as convened by the Chair. Among its responsibilities, the board takes testimony and receives complaints concerning alleged unethical practices, which may be submitted by any individual. It also reviews financial disclosure statements filed by County officials and recommends the manner in which any conflicts of interest may be resolved.

An attorney, Getman is of counsel to the law firm of Franklin & Gabriel, in Ovid, New York, where he represents a wide variety of clients on civil and criminal matters, including municipal law and criminal law. He also serves part-time as an assistant county attorney in the Schuyler County Attorney’s office, located in Watkins Glen, New York.

In addition to his law practice, Getman is an adjunct professor in the Keuka College Criminal Justice program.