New York 1 News

July 27, 2001

Judge To Take Second Look At Charles Schwarz's Conviction

SchwarzAn appeals court ordered a federal judge in Brooklyn Thursday to review claims former police officer Charles Schwarz didn't get a fair trial when he was convicted in connection with the torture of Abner Louima. This comes a week after attorneys for Schwarz presented a sealed affidavit from a recently retired officer whose testimony contradicts the evidence of a key prosecution witness, testimony that could have possibly cleared Schwarz. The higher court said Thursday that it wants the District Court to consider whether prosecutors suppressed evidence at the 1999 trial. Schwarz' attorneys argued the conviction should be thrown out because dozens of statements that would have cleared their client were withheld. At the time, prosecutors claimed those statements were not relevant. Schwarz was convicted on charges he held Louima down while then-officer Justin Volpe sodomized the Haitian immigrant in the bathroom of Brooklyn's 70th Precinct stationhouse in 1997. He is currently serving 15 years in jail. Fellow officers Thomas Wiese and Thomas Bruder were also convicted in the cover-up conspiracy. They're both out on bail pending an appeal.