Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY FINDS INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ISSUE CHARGES AGAINST NELSON AGHOLOR FOR ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT

July 18, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (July 18, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams released the following statement after thoroughly investigating an alleged sexual assault involving Nelson Agholor that took place at Cheerleader’s Gentlemen’s Club (2740 S. Front St.) on June 9, 2016:

The District Attorney’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit and detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit thoroughly investigated the allegations of sexual assault against Nelson Agholor. As a result of this joint investigation, our staff and the Police reached the conclusion that we lacked sufficient evidence to bring charges against Mr. Agholor, therefore no charges will be filed.

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Che Brown, former Drexel University Police Officer, arrested for theft

July 13, 2016

 

Internal Drexel investigation leads to termination and District Attorney’s Office charges

PHILADELPHIA (July 13, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams announced that Che Brown, a former Drexel University Police Officer, turned himself in today and was charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking (M1), Receiving Stolen Property (M1), Obstructing Administration of Law (M2) and Official Oppression (M2).

“What former Officer Che Brown did was wrong – stealing is stealing no matter if it is $5, $50 or $500 –and he will now have his day in court,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “My Office is grateful for the assistance and support of Drexel University and their police force, and, as I have said before, my Office will continue to review the evidence in each case and if warranted charge and prosecute anyone, no matter their position or influence, who breaks the law.”

Upon learning that Brown had allegedly tampered with evidence collected from a scene while responding to an incident, Drexel immediately began an internal investigation. The investigation confirmed Brown had violated police procedures, and, as a result, Brown was terminated on February 2, 2015. The case was then immediately turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution per Drexel’s procedures.

On the morning of Wednesday, January 14, 2015, Drexel Police were dispatched to a residence hall on the University’s campus because a student was reported to possess marijuana. A search of the room with University staff found a bag of marijuana, cigarette rolling papers, knifes, bags of white powder and $500. The cash was stored in a pill box. The confiscated items were inventoried and given to Brown to enter into evidence. Later that day, Brown prepared the required incident report and property receipt, but did not record the two confiscated knives or the $500. He also never put them into evidence. Because the money had been a gift from his grandmother, the student knew the exact denominations of the missing currency. When the student went to retrieve his property, the money and the knives were missing. When asked by his supervisor about the missing items, Officer Brown said, “My bad, this is all on me.”

Brown’s supervisors searched the evidence room and found two knives and an ibuprofen box that contained $500. However, the denominations and their amounts did not match what was confiscated from the residence hall when the student was re-interviewed about the missing property.

An internal Drexel investigation, which included video evidence of the police evidence room, showed Brown depositing an item that appeared to be the ibuprofen box back into storage on January 22, 2015. After denying having touched the money or entering the evidence room since January 14, Brown was shown the video of him entering the room on January 22, 2015 and placing the box with the money in the drawer. In response, he stated that he forgot to put the money box into evidence and when asked about the denomination change he stated, “I have no idea.”

Brown, DOB 7/6/1979, resides in Upper Darby and was terminated by Drexel University because of the theft. He was hired by the University in January 2013. His next appearance in court has yet to be scheduled.

 

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY R. SETH WILLIAMS RELEASES STATEMENT ON JUDGE’S APPROVAL OF KATHRYN KNOTT’S PAROLE PETITION

July 12, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (July 12, 2016) – The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office today released the following statement on the Hon. Roxanne Covington’s decision to approve Kathryn Knott’s parole petition:

Today, Judge Covington granted Kathryn Knott’s parole petition. Ms. Knott completed five months of her five to ten month sentence of incarnation without any disciplinary infractions. The victims in this case were made aware of the petition and have no objection to it. I know that no amount of punishment or jail time can make what happened in Center City Philadelphia go away for the victims in this case, the LGBT community and the City of Philadelphia. But I also know that there is no legal proceeding that will bring fundamental equality and respect to all of our citizens; regardless of their race, gender, economic status or sexual orientation.

Was what Kathryn Knott and her fellow defendants did ugly and deplorable? Yes, it was. Do we need to keep fighting for equality and respect? Yes, we do. So, let’s use today’s proceedings as an opportunity to keep pushing forward and to make our neighborhoods and city a better place to live, love and work.

In February of 2016, Kathryn Knott was found guilty by a jury of her peers of two counts of Recklessly Endangering Anther Person, Simple Assault and Conspiracy for Simple Assault; all misdemeanor crimes. She was sentenced to serve five to ten months of incarceration followed by two years of reporting probation, she was also ordered to pay $2000 in fines for her role in the attack of a gay couple in Center City Philadelphia. Knott will, upon release, be on parole for the remainder of her ten month sentence and then begin two years of probation. In October of 2016, Knott’s co-defendants pled guilty for their role in the attack. Kevin Harrigan pled guilty to one charge of Simple Assault and one charge of Conspiracy. He was sentenced to three years of reporting probation and had to pay $314 in restitution. Phillip Williams pled guilty to one charge of Aggravated Assault and one charge of Conspiracy. He was sentenced to five years of reporting probation and had to pay $628 in restitution. Harrigan and Williams also agreed to perform 200 hours of community service at a LGBTQ organization/cause and are prohibited from going into Center City Philadelphia for the duration of their probation.

 

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY ISSUES STATEMENT ON JUVENILE RESENTENCING PROTOCOL IN COMPLIANCE WITH SCOTUS

June 3, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (June 3, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today released the following statement about the specialized protocol the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) is using to review approximately 300 juvenile life sentence cases as ordered by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Miller vs. Alabama and Montgomery vs. Louisiana.

As the independently elected District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia, my job is to fairly apply the law. The Supreme Court of the United States issued their ruling earlier this year, and so today, I’m happy to share the protocol my team and I are using to review these cases.

Other states and counties across the U.S. are looking to Philadelphia to see what we are doing. Our plan meets the Supreme Court’s ruling and takes into consideration public safety, the defendant’s rights, and the services and supports they may need once released; all while respecting the victims and their families. As a policy matter, I recognize that the Court’s ruling emphasized the characteristics of youth and the need for individualized sentences for defendants, based on their age, with minimum and maximum sentences.

We began working on our plan on January 25th, the day Montgomery was decided, and we are going to use the new sentencing structure, applied retroactively as we take into account the age of the defendant at the time of the murder, to provide hope and a light at the end of the tunnel for these individuals who have been serving sentences, many decades-long, of life without the possibility of parole.

The first two cases are in court today, and so I’m thankful for the judges and defense attorneys who are working hard at this difficult task. Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel for his progressive approach to help prepare these individuals for release. And to all of our partners: The City of Philadelphia, First Judicial District, PA Board of Probation and Parole, PA Department of Corrections, and the Defender Association of Philadelphia.

Resentencing Protocol

The following step-by-step overview details the process that will be used by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) to review the sentences of the approximately 300 life sentence cases as ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller vs. Alabama and Montgomery vs. Louisiana. The protocol was created by the DAO. The entire review process could take approximately three years.

  • Step 1: Beginning with the oldest cases, order the archived case file and verify the defendant’s eligibility for review by looking at his/her age at the time of the crime, role played in the case, sentence received, and if there are other concurrent or consecutive sentences. If the defendant does not meet the age requirements or has a concurrent or consecutive sentence he/she will not be eligible for resentencing.
  • Step 2: If the defendant is found eligible, their file will be saved in the DAO’s case management database.
  • Step 3: The DAO will order and review the defendant’s FBI Extract and PA Department of Corrections’ Prison Adjustment History. These documents will be used to verify that the defendant does not have a conviction in another state or in the Federal system. Additionally, the Office will review the defendant’s conduct in prison as provided by the Department of Corrections.
  • Step 4: The DAO will contact the victim’s family to explain the new law and the DAO’s review process. Family members will also be told about their right to attend court proceedings and to submit a victim impact statement.
  • Step 5: Examine all the relevant facts from all sources, including the victim’s family, and determine a fair and appropriate sentence.
  • Step 6: Contact the defendant’s counsel to negotiate a new sentence for the defendant. If there is an agreement, the case will be scheduled for a resentencing hearing before a homicide judge in the Court of Common Pleas. In court, the DAO will recommend a new sentence using the Commonwealth’s current sentencing statute (18 Pa.C.S.A. 1102) as its guide. If there is no negotiation, the case will be scheduled with the First Judicial District.
  • Step 7: After the court implements a new sentence, the PA Board of Probation and Parole will make any further determinations regarding parole and or release.

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY OPENS SEVEN NEW LOCATIONS FOR THE SAFE DISPOSAL OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

May 11, 2016

Drug return boxes are anonymous, secure and help prevent prescription drug and heroin abuse

PHILADELPHIA (May 11, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced the expansion of the Office’s prescription drug drop off pilot program into seven new Philadelphia Police Districts. The drop off locations allow anyone to safely and anonymously dispose of unwanted prescription drugs.

“Since January of this year, when we launched the pilot program, we have collected about 200 pounds of unwanted and unneeded prescription drugs,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “These secure drop off boxes are certainly a benefit the public and the environment. For example, they keep medications out of our water supply. But more importantly, since the abuse of prescription medications often leads to opiate and heroin abuse, these drop off boxes will save lives.”

The pilot program began with boxes in the 1st, 15th, 19th, 22nd, 25th and 35th police districts. Today, the program is being expanded into the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 14th and 26th police districts; eventually the pilot will be expanded into every Police District throughout the City.

“We appreciate the ongoing effort in creating options for residents to safely dispose of prescription drugs, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. We will continue to work together to address this issue,” added Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

Philadelphia has the highest rate of drug overdoses in Pennsylvania, nearly 42 people per 100,000. There were more than 650 overdose deaths in Philadelphia in 2014. Of those, approximately 370 had prescription opioids in their system and more than half had heroin in their system.

The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) will house the boxes and Philadelphia District Attorney (DAO) County Detectives will collect the medications and transport them to Covanta, which is located in Conshohocken, where they will be burned at no cost. The boxes were made available to the DAO through a grant from the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

 

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S ELECTION FRAUD TASK FORCE AND COMMITTEE OF SEVENTY PREPARE FOR PRIMARY ELECTION

April 20, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (April 20, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that his Election Fraud Task Force is ready for April 26, Primary Election Day, and Philadelphian’s should call 215-686-9641, 9643 or 9644 if they experience any difficulty casting their ballot.

“It is always busy at the polls on presidential primary day so voters should make sure they check their registration and know the location of their polling place before they head out to vote,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “And, as always, if someone sees a violation or experiences any difficulty in casting their ballot they should reach out to the Election Fraud Task Force so we can protect each Philadelphian’s right to vote; and we do protect the City’s voting processes. For example, last year we charged nine people with various voting violations.”

The Task Force has more than 60 Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) and several dozen Detectives who are available to address any Election Day concerns. The Office also has two ADAs specially assigned to support the Committee of Seventy’s Election Day activities. Typically, the Task Force is asked to respond to allegations of illegal voting, candidate write in issues, refusal of election boards to recognize poll watcher certificates and illegal electioneering.

“We’re looking forward to a vibrant Election Day with high turnout,” said Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh. “But the excitement and high stakes also mean that all of us must work that much harder to assure each voter the right to vote independently, privately and free from intimidation or harassment.”

Over the past twenty years, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Committee of Seventy have partnered to protect each Philadelphian’s vote and to monitor Election Day complaints.

“Seventy is pleased to see the District Attorney’s Office continue its Election Task Force, and we urge voters, poll workers and campaign volunteers to immediately report possible election law violations to the DA’s hotline. For questions about the election or voting procedures, voters can visit seventy.org or call Seventy at 1-855-SEVENTY,” added Thornburgh.

Seventy will also be deploying more than 400 high school student Election Ambassadors to polling places around the city to help answer voters’ questions, as well as encouraging all voters to fill out an online survey to share and document their experience at the polls.

In 2014, DA Williams created the Election Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute allegations of Election Day criminal activity. The Task Force continues to be part of the District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit and is staffed by Assistant District Attorneys and Detectives. The DAO will also issue Election Day updates via its Twitter account while the polls are open.

Philadelphia DA and PHILADELPHIA COALITION FOR VICTIM ADVOCACY honor U.S. Sen. Toomey and dedicated PUBLIC Servants during National Crime Victim’s Rights Week

April 19, 2016

Annual luncheon celebrates awardees for their service to crime victims and witnesses

PHILADELPHIA (April 15, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams and the Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy (PCVA) today held their annual luncheon and award ceremony in commemoration of National Crime Victim’s Rights Week (NCVRW). U.S. Senator Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania received the Legislative Award for his successful fight to release billions of dollars to the nation’s victim services providers from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund. Money in this fund, solely sourced by fines paid by federal offenders, had been sitting for years in a federal account and not serving its congressional purpose – assisting crime victims.

“Senator Toomey, thank you for championing the legislation that kept the Victims of Crime Act funds properly flowing to our victim serving agencies and for doing all that you do to protect our youth who are the victims of crime,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “I am also proud to give a special congratulations to ADA Andrew Notaristefano for his consistent drive for excellence and unending professionalism in the courtroom. Andrew’s tireless efforts to help victims in this City is truly admirable. To Senator Toomey, ADA Notaristefano and to all of today’s awardees, you have my thanks and unending gratitude for what you have done.”

 In addition to releasing billions of dollars to the VOCA Fund, Sen. Toomey introduced the Fairness for Crime Victims Act, which will make his reforms to the VOCA Fund permanent, and introduced legislation, which became law in 2015, that makes it illegal for school districts to assist known pedophiles in obtaining a job. He also fought to increase prison terms and penalties for human trafficking, child pornography, child prostitution and sexual exploitation of children. The other public servants honored at the ceremony were:

Andrew Notaristefano, Assistant District Attorney – Lynne Abraham Prosecutor Award – was recognized for his work in the courtroom and beyond. His passion for helping others, he received a previous Lynne Abraham Award after graduating law school in 2006, drives him. ADA Notaristefano tried and convicted Margarita Garabito of First Degree Murder for torturing her 10-year-old step-daughter to death and tried and convicted Rudolph McGriff, one of the City’s most notorious mass murders, of First Degree Murder last year. To date, ADA Notaristefano has received 32 murder convictions by trial in the last four years.

Jamie Manirakiza, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking for the Salvation Army – Catherine Bachrach Victim Advocate Award – is a tireless advocate in the fight against human trafficking in the City of Philadelphia. Manirakiza has dedicated her life to working with traumatized women involved in the commercial sex industry at the New Day Drop-in Center for Women in Kensington. She often accompanies victims to Family Court and teaches an introductory Women’s Studies course at Eastern University that concentrates on sex trafficking.

Dr. Mariza DiGiorgio McColgan, M.D., MSEd, FAAP – Health Care Professional Award – spearheaded several advocacy projects including the Children’s and Mom’s Project (CAMP), a successful pediatric domestic violence screening project, and the Family Safe Zone project, a pilot program to increase community protections to prevent child maltreatment. Dr. DiGiorgio McColgan is the Medical Director of the Child Protection Program at Philadelphia’s St. Christopher Hospital for Children; an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Drexel University’s College of Medicine; and a Founding Advisor, Board Chair and Pediatric Advisor of Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania.

Lynn Shiner, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (retired) – Special Recognition Award & Voice of the Victim – was celebrated for the 21 years of passion she brought to helping the victims of crime. Shiner began working for the Commission after she experienced a tragedy of her own, her two young children were murdered on Christmas Day in 1994. Shiner is also an award-winning author and was presented with the National Crime Victim Service Award by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. In 2014, she was presented with the Visionary Voice Award by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

PCVA, which is dedicated to promoting the rights of and advocating for crime victims, began in 1980 as the Philadelphia Crime and the Elderly Coalition. The Organization changed their name to the Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy in 1983 to better reflect the people they serve. The annual luncheon is held during National Crime Victim’s Rights Week to honor those who have made significant contributions in addressing or advocating for the needs of crime victims.

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARGES 15 GANG MEMBERS AFTER LENGTHY GUN VIOLENCE TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION

April 14, 2016

Charges range from Gun Violations to Aggravated Assault to Homicide

PHILADELPHIA (April 14, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that after an investigation by the Gun Violence Task Force and a review by the Investigating Grand Jury, he is charging 15 area gang members with charges that include Homicide, Firearms Violations, Aggravated Assault and Conspiracy for their role in a violent, ongoing feud and gun battle that occurred in North Philadelphia between February and June of 2014.

“Members of a group who identify themselves as ‘TNT’ have terrorized the citizens of North Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, literally having gun battles right outside their front doors, for months,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “I am committed to protecting and saving lives, especially young black men, and the citizens of Philadelphia should not be afraid to let their children play outside because of gun violence. We deserve safety in our streets and so I am grateful to the members of the Grand Jury, the Assistant District Attorneys in my Office, Agents from the Gun Violence Task Force and the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homicide, Criminal Intelligence and Firearm Identification Units for their investigation.”

Beginning in February of 2014, members of the Tenth and Thompson Streets gang (TNT) began a violent feud with another rival organization. The fifteen members of TNT self-identify through their social media accounts, tattoos and clothing. TNT engaged in the following thirteen incidents of criminal activity; nine were shootings resulting in the seizure of ten illegal firearms:

  • Shooting at the One Tre Bar located at 13th and Cambria Sts. on February 15, 2014, at 1:26 a.m.;
  • Three arrests for firearm violations at 13th and Lehigh Sts. on February 17, 2014, at 11:36 p.m. three weapons were recovered;
  • Shooting at 2800 N. Park Ave. on February 19, 2014, at 12:30 a.m. seven fired cartridge casings and three bullets were recovered;
  • Shooting at 2700 Park Ave. on February 19, 2014 at 6:21 p.m. twenty-six fired cartridge casings from three different firearms were recovered;
  • Shooting at 18th and Ridge Ave. on February 27, 2014, at 5:40 p.m. eight fired cartridge casings from two guns;
  • Shooting at 900 W. Thompson St. on March 1, 2014, at 11:09 p.m. where twenty-four fired cartridge casings were recovered from four different handguns;
  • Shooting at 2900 N. 13th on March 6, 2014, at 11:56 p.m. two firearms were recovered and thirty-three fired cartridge casings from a total of four different firearms;
  • Shooting at 1124 W. Stiles St. at 7:40 p.m. followed by a firearm arrest at 1200 N. 11th on March 20, 2014, at 9:30 p.m.;
  • Firearm recovered at 1228 N. 10th on April 1, 2014, at 7:19 p.m.;
  • One arrest for firearm violations at 1013 Seybert Mall on April 13, 2014, at 11:21 p.m. one weapon was recovered which matches the ballistics from the shooting on February 27, 2014;
  • One arrest for firearm violations at 1200 Hutchinson St. on May 14, 2014, at 9:38 p.m. two weapons were recovered;
  • Shooting at 1300 W. Cambria St. on May 27, 2014, at 2:09 a.m. fourteen fired cartridge casings were recovered all from one firearm; and
  • One killed in a Homicide outside the Galaxy Bar located at Germantown and Rising Sun Aves. on June 22, 2014, at 1:33 a.m.

A full list of the 15 charged includes:

Criminal Conspiracy

Samir Akines (DOB: 10/29/1984), Amir Crippen (DOB: 7/23/1994), Kareem Grant (DOB: 10/23/1990), Rashad Hall (DOB: 1/24/1995), Vincent McClenney (DOB: 2/9/1988), Gregory Nash (DOB: 9/15/1988), Tyreese Scott (DOB: 5/22/1987), Ali Williams (DOB: 2/5/1987) and Hamin Williams, Sr. (DOB: 5/10/1978)

Criminal Conspiracy, Murder, Possession of a Firearm Prohibited, Carrying a Firearm Without a License, Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia and Possession of an Instrument of Crime

Rashad Holcomb (DOB: 9/2/1988)

Criminal Conspiracy and Murder

Curshawn Banks (DOB: 8/3/1989) and Evette Brooks (DOB: 7/14/1981)

Criminal Conspiracy, Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Carrying a Firearm Without a License, Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia and Possession of an instrument of Crime

Maurice Muldrow (DOB: 9/14/1989)

Criminal Conspiracy, Possession of a Firearm Prohibited, Carrying a Firearm Without a License and Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia

Christopher McClutchen (DOB: 3/13/1993) and Hamin Williams, Jr. (DOB: 10/17/1996)

Today, all 15 defendants are in custody and will appear in court for their Preliminary Hearing.

AFTER EXTENSIVE INVESTIGATION, PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY FINDS INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO ISSUE CHARGES IN RECESS LOUNGE INCIDENT

April 4, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (April 4, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams today announced that after a thorough investigation of the fight that took place at the Recess Lounge (125 S. 2nd St.) on Feb. 7, 2016, there is not enough evidence to meet the legal threshold to issue charges.

“For the past several weeks my office has worked diligently with Philadelphia Police Department’s Central Detectives to investigate this matter and, in the end, there is insufficient evidence to prove that any individual committed a criminal offense,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “My job is not to decide if anyone acted appropriately or not. My job is to determine if evidence exists to charge any individual with a crime. I do that by looking at all the facts. That is what we did here. My decision today is consistent with my commitment to the citizens of Philadelphia to charge, and only charge, those people who, based on evidence, are guilty of crimes.”

Looking at the events and the actions of all parties on Feb. 7 2016, there is insufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, who started the fight and under what circumstances. In order to gain a conviction against any individual, the District Attorney’s Office would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any actions taken were not in self-defense or in the defense of another.

The law allows a person to legally defend himself or herself if he or she believes that force is immediately necessary to protect against the use of unlawful force against themselves. The law also says that a person is legally entitled to use force to protect another person if he or she believes that force is immediately necessary to protect someone from being injured by the use of unlawful force. While it is clear that a physical altercation took place, there is insufficient credible evidence to determine which of the participants was the initial aggressor or whether some participants were acting in self-defense or in the reasonable defense of another.

The combined investigation of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and Philadelphia Police Detectives in the Recess Lounge incident was extensive. Over a nine week period, Assistant District Attorneys and Central Detectives built a comprehensive timeline of the events leading up to and following the Recess Lounge incident. They also conducted 44 interviews speaking with a total of 27 individuals, made a site visit, examined the medical records of multiple participants, and reviewed photographs and video surveillance footage.

The following findings of the investigation were material to the District Attorney’s decision not to file charges:

  • Only two interviewed individuals gave any information about how the physical contact initiated and both of those versions were in direct conflict with another;
  • Each participant affirmatively declined to make a report when asked by uniformed police officers outside the club immediately after the incident;
  • Each injured participant declined medical attention outside the club and later sought medical attention at hospitals far from the incident; and
  • In numerous statements to police and Assistant District Attorneys, multiple participants misidentified who was present and participated in the fight.

The totality of the information yielded by this comprehensive investigation supports the District Attorney’s decision not to file charges.

HUBERT HENDRICKS PLEADS GUILTY TO WELFARE FRAUD

March 18, 2016

Receives sentence of 11.5 to 23 months, $900,000 restitution and 20 years of probation

PHILADELPHIA (March 18, 2016) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that Hubert Hendricks (DOB: 5/16/64) has pled guilty to Welfare Fraud (F3), Conspiracy (F2), Theft by Deception (F3), Forgery (F2) and Tampering with Public Records or Information (F3). He will serve a sentence of 11.5 to 23 months in jail followed by 20 years of probation and pay $900,000 in restitution to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Hendricks, who is a felon, was never eligible to run his childcare facilities or collect more than $9.3 million in childcare payments from the Commonwealth. This matter was reviewed by the Indicting Grand Jury and the defendant was sentenced by the Honorable Ann Marie Coyle.

“The evidence shows that for the last seven years Hubert Hendricks hid his record, illegally operated three childcare facilities in Philadelphia and took more than $9.3 million dollars from Commonwealth. He was a felon and ineligible to operate a childcare facility, but that did not stop him from forging documents and putting himself in a position to fraudulently receive millions in taxpayer dollars,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “Many thanks to the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, my Government Fraud Unit, and the men and the women of the Indicting Grand Jury for their hard work and dedication in investigating this case.”

District Attorney Seth Williams credited the work of the Pennsylvania State Police and other state agency investigators with assisting his Office investigate Hendricks and added, “Fraud, waste and abuse are things every citizen wants stamped out. Our investigation and Judge Coyle’s sentence makes it clear that there will simply be no tolerance for this kind of abuse of taxpayer money.”

Judge Coyle’s sentence came after an investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services who determined that in 2008 Kendrick’s had falsely submitted an application to become a State approved Day Care provider. In addition, the investigation revealed that Hendricks forged State and Federal clearances regarding his criminal history. Hendricks had a previous Federal conviction for the Distribution of Narcotics and two other convictions for unrelated offenses. Ultimately Kendrick’s fraudulent activity allowed him to operate daycare centers at 6327 Woodland Ave., 6315 Woodland Ave. and 2943 Reed St. Hendricks is currently incarcerated on State Rd. The childcare centers are no longer being operated by the defendant.

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