- December 4, 2017
Skip Laisure, New York, NY (Caitlin Halpern of counsel), for
Gonzalez, District Attorney, Brooklyn, NY (Leonard Joblove,
Rhea A. Grob, and Julian Joiris of counsel), for respondent.
M. LEVENTHAL, J.P. SYLVIA O. HINDS-RADIX HECTOR D. LASALLE
VALERIE BRATHWAITE NELSON, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings
County (Evelyn J. LaPorte, J.), rendered January 27, 2016,
convicting him of aggravated criminal contempt and criminal
contempt in the first degree, upon a jury verdict, and
that the judgment is affirmed.
defendant's challenge to the legal sufficiency of the
evidence is partially unpreserved for appellate review
(see CPL 470.05), and, in any event, is without
merit. 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 (see
People v Cahill, 2 N.Y.3d 14, 57; People v
Goodbread, 127 A.D.3d 1106, 1107; People v
White, 94 A.D.3d 918; People v Alexander, 50
A.D.3d 816, 817-818; People v Tomasky, 36 A.D.3d
1025, 1026; People v Squires, 308 A.D.2d 553, 554).
Moreover, upon our independent review of the record (see CPL
470.15), we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt was
not against the weight of the evidence (see People
vMateo, 2 N.Y.3d 383; People v Bleakley, 69
N.Y.2d 490, 495).
Supreme Court did not err in permitting the admission into
evidence of two prior uncharged incidents involving the
defendant striking the complainant in the face. In domestic
violence cases such as this one, evidence of prior assaults
is admissible ''because the aggression and bad acts
are focused on one particular person, demonstrating the
defendant's intent, motive, identity and absence of
mistake or accident" and provides the necessary
background as to the relationship between the defendant and
the victim (People v Womack, 143 A.D.3d 1171, 1173
[internal quotation marks omitted]; see People
vBabcock, 152 A.D.3d 962; People vMorgan, 149
A.D.3d 1148; People v Burkett, 101 A.D.3d 1468;
People v World, 89 A.D.3d 966; People v
Vega, 3 A.D.3d 239, 248). Further, evidence that a prior
assault was the basis of an order of protection issued
against the defendant was properly admitted as it
'completed the narrative in which the criminal acts
occurred [and] tended to show the absence of accident"
(People v Rodriguez, 306 A.D.2d 686, 688). Contrary
to the defendant's contention, any potential for
prejudice was offset by the jury charge, which emphasized
that uncharged crimes were not to be considered proof of
propensity to commit the crimes charged (see People v
Abdul-Aleem, 133 A.D.3d 867, 868; People v
Gardner, 98 A.D.3d 901, 902).
defendant contends that he was deprived of a fair trial with
respect to his conviction of aggravated criminal contempt
based upon the admission of evidence that the complainant had
identified the defendant as her assailant to the police, an
emergency medical technician (hereinafter EMT), and a
treating physician. Insofar as the contention is based upon
the admission of evidence that the complainant identified the
defendant as her assailant to the police, it is unpreserved
for appellate review and, in any event, is without merit.
Moreover, to the extent that the admission of the evidence
that the complainant had identified the defendant as her
assailant to the EMT and the physician was improper, it ...