January 15, 2019 07:57 PM
The trial of former Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio will not be held in Monroe County.
An appellate court has granted a motion to move the trial scheduled for Jan. 28, 2019 to Onondaga County.
Astacio's attorney, Mark Foti, says it is extremely rare that a request for a change of venue has been granted.
It means the attorneys in the case, possibly the judge and all of the witnesses, will be traveling to a courthouse in the Syracuse area for her trial.
Foti says the stakes are high in this case.
Astacio is accused of trying to purchase a shot gun last April at Dick's Sporting Goods while she was on probation. She is charged with attempted criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon which is a felony.
If convicted, not only could she face jail time, but she could lose her license to practice law in the state of New York.
Foti says the appellate court's decision demonstrates the abundance of news coverage of Astacio.
He's not only concerned with the news coverage, but the commentary that has followed. He says much of the conversation has centered around the fact that she was a judge.
Foti says when asked, all 23 members of the Monroe County grand jury that indicted Astacio admitted they were familiar with the case.
"In this situation in particular, the unique aspects of the coverage related to her job, as well as the prior criminal proceedings, all suggested that in Monroe County there was much too much information that had been passed along, as well as opinions that had been passed along, which would have prevented a fair trial," Foti adds.
Foti says a date has not yet been set for the new trial and it's not clear if a Monroe County judge will preside over the proceedings.
Updated: January 15, 2019 07:57 PM
Created: January 15, 2019 07:17 PM
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