F. Ryan, White Plains, NY (David B. Weisfuse of counsel), for
Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., District Attorney, White Plains, NY
(Raffaelina Gianfrancesco and Steven A. Bender of counsel),
C. DILLON, J.P., L. PRISCILLA HALL, JEFFREY A. COHEN, BETSY
DECISION & ORDER
by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court,
Westchester County (Zambelli, J.), rendered November 12,
2013, convicting him of promoting prostitution in the third
degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.
that the judgment is affirmed.
defendant contends that the prosecution failed to present
legally sufficient evidence proving his guilt of promoting
prostitution in the third degree and establishing that
Westchester County had geographical jurisdiction over the
offense. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to
the prosecution (see People v Contes, 60 N.Y.2d
620), we find that it was legally sufficient to establish the
defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that he
engaged in conduct constituting an element of the offense
within Westchester County by a preponderance of the evidence
(see CPL 20.40, 20.60; People v
Giordano, 87 N.Y.2d 441, 446; People v Tullo,
34 N.Y.2d 712, 714; People v Botta, 100 A.D.2d 311,
314). Moreover, in fulfilling our responsibility to conduct
an independent review of the weight of the evidence
(see CPL 470.15 ; People v Danielson, 9
N.Y.3d 342, 348), we nevertheless accord great deference to
the fact-finder's opportunity to view the witnesses, hear
the testimony, and observe demeanor (see People v
Mateo, 2 N.Y.3d 383, 410; People v Bleakley, 69
N.Y.2d 490). Upon reviewing the record here, we are satisfied
that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the
evidence (see People v Romero, 7 N.Y.3d 633).
to the defendant's contention, the prosecutor was not
required to instruct the grand jury on territorial or
geographical jurisdiction, as the evidence before the grand
jury did not support a finding that either one was lacking
(see People v Mitchell, 82 N.Y.2d 509, 514;
People v Lancaster, 69 N.Y.2d 20, 28).
to the defendant's contention, he did not put territorial
jurisdiction "in issue" such that the County Court
should have submitted it to the jury (People v
McLaughlin, 80 N.Y.2d 466, 469-472; see People v
Wright, 243 A.D.2d 746; cf. People v Thomas,
124 A.D.3d 56, 59).
County Court providently exercised its discretion in denying
the defendant's request to question prospective jurors as
to their attitudes or knowledge of matters of law (see
People v Boulware, 29 N.Y.2d 135, 141; People v
Robinson, 110 A.D.3d 1010).
County Court adequately instructed the jury on the correct
standards applicable to determining whether the People
established geographical jurisdiction (see People v
Echevarria, 21 N.Y.3d 1, 21; People v Umali, 10
N.Y.3d 417, 427).
County Court's inclusion of a substantive instruction not
authorized by CPL 310.20(2) on the verdict sheet did not
constitute reversible error, as defense counsel was shown the
verdict sheet before it was submitted to the jury and
initialed it without voicing any objection and, therefore,
his consent is implied (see People v Bjork, 105
A.D.3d 1258, 1264; People v Johnson, 96 A.D.3d 1586,
1587; People v Spruill, 245 A.D.2d 534, 535). The
prosecutor did not present any evidence of an uncharged crime
or prior bad act of the defendant (cf. People v
Hudy, 73 N.Y.2d 40, 54; People v Alvino, 71
N.Y.2d 233, 241).
defendant's remaining contentions are without merit.
DILLON, J.P., HALL, COHEN and ...