Bond Set For Officers In Jefferson Tap Beating

Bond has been set for three Chicago police officers accused of beating four men at the Jefferson Tap and Grill. Sgt. Jeffery Planey, 33, and Officers Paul Powers, 25, and Gregory Barnes, 39, were each charged with aggravated battery. Planey was also charged with obstruction of justice and official misconduct. Yesterday, Cook County Judge Raymond Myles set Planey's bond at $60,000, and Power's and Barnes' bond at $40,000. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 8, 2007.

Anthony Abbate Pleads Not Guilty

Anthony Abbate appeared in criminal court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to all 15 felony counts pending against him, including counts for aggravated battery, official misconduct, intimidation, conspiracy and communicating with a witness. Abbate is a 12-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He declined to comment on the charges.  Abbate is represented by attorney Peter Hickey.

Jefferson Tap Beating Case Assigned To Judge Leinenweber

The lawsuit brought by four men who were beaten by off-duty Chicago police officers at the Jefferson Tap and Grille, 323 N. Jefferson Street, in Chicago, has been assigned to the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber. The plaintiffs are Barry Gilfand, Aaron Gilfand, Adam Mastrucci and Scott Lowrance. The defendants are Sgt. Jeffery Planey, Officer Gregory Barnes, Officer Demetrios Kereakes, Officer Vincent Matthews, Officer Matias Padilla, Officer Paul Powers, Sgt. Dale Kingsley, Officer Kenneth Carlyon, Officer Frederick Collins, Officer Christopher Lindahl, Officer Nicole Mayoski, Officer Ana Pina, Probationary Officer Donald Lupo, Probationary Officer Gregory Morabito, Probationary Officer Sarah Zarcone, and the City of Chicago. Plaintiffs allege that "While finishing a game of billiards, plaintiffs were attacked, without provocation, by six Chicago Police Officers: Sgt. Jeffery Planey, Officer Gregory Barnes, Officer Demetrios Kereakes, Officer Vincent Matthews, Officer Matias Padilla and Officer Paul Powers, who were also patrons of the establishment." The suit alleges that "after assaulting officer Sgt. Planey spoke with the responding officers, instead of the responding officers conducting even a cursory investigation, they all immediately left the scene without intervening." The suit further alleges that "As a result of the attack, plaintiffs all sustained severe physical injuries including, but not limited to: broken ribs, broken and bruised facial bones, injured vertebrae and spinal discs, injured shoulder and neck, injured elbow, serious damage to the hips, bruises, contusions and scrapes. Some of the injuries are likely to be permanent."

Karolina Obrycka's Lawsuit Against Anthony Abbate, Jr. Assigned To Judge St. Eve

Karolina Obrycka's lawsuit against Anthony Abbate, Jr., Gary Ortiz, Patti Chiriboga and the City of Chicago has been assigned to Judge Amy St. Eve. Obrycka was the bartender at Jesse's Shortstop Inn, 5425 W. Belmont Avenue, in Chicago, who was beaten by Officer Abbate on February 19, 2007, after she refused to serve him more alcohol. The beating was caught on videotape. The complaint describes the brutal beating that Obrycka suffered and also alleges that defendants Ortiz and Chiriboga told Obrycka that if she would not file a complaint against Abbate that Abbate would pay for her medical bills, lost wages and other financial loss as a result of the beating. The complaint alleges that after Obrycka refused that offer, Abbate, Chiriboga and others told Obrycka that "Defendants were aware of the Plaintiffs' vehicle identification tags and descriptions, and that if the Plaintiffs did not turn over to the Defendants (or destroy) the video tape recording of Abbate savagely beating the Plaintiff, Karolina Obrycka, that the Plaintiffs and patrons of Jesse's Shortstop Inn would be falsely arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or possession and/or trafficking of cocaine." The complaint also alleges that the Chicago Police Department conducted a "sham" investigation of the incident. Martin Kolodziej, the manager of Jesse's Shortstop Inn, and Eva Cepiaszuk, the owner of Jesse's Shortstop Inn, are also plaintiffs in the suit, as they were threatened by defendants to destroy the video tape. The suit seeks damages in excess of $1,000,000.

Three Officers Charged In Jefferson Tap Bar Beating

Three Chicago police officers have been charged with beating four men at the Jefferson Tap & Grille last December. The new officers charged are Sgt. Jeffrey Planey and officers Gregory Barnes and Paul Powers. Each was charged with aggravated battery. Planey was also charged with obstruction of justice and official misconduct.

City Of Chicago Files Response To Michael Evans' Appeal

The City of Chicago and ten former Chicago police officers have filed their response to Michael Evans' Seventh Circuit appeal. In August 2006, a federal court jury found in favor of the City of Chicago and the police officer defendants, rejecting Evans' claim that he had been framed for the rape and murder of Lisa Cabassa back in 1976. Evans spent 27 years in prison before being released in 2003 when DNA found on a rectal swab did not match Evans. An eyewitness, Judith Januszewski, testified that she saw Evans and his friend Paul Terry abducting Lisa Cabassa on the evening she disappeared. In their appellate brief, the defendants argued that the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing testimony by police officers who fully complied with discovery. The defendants also argued that Evans' failure to ask the district court for additional time to conduct discovery waived any claim of prejudice. For example, the defendants' brief states "Tellingly, the primary relief Evans seeks is a remand to 'provide Plaintiff a reasonable opportunity to take fact and expert discovery. Evans never sought this relief from the district court, although the officers suggested it. Evans wanted to go to trial as quickly as possible. Evans apparently now regrets this strategy, but his gamesmanship should not be rewarded with relief he never sought below. Indeed, because Evans never asked the district court for more time for discovery, this argument is waived." (Defendants' brief at p. 38). Defendants are represented on appeal by Benna Ruth  Solomon (Deputy Corporation Counsel), Myriam Zreczny Kasper (Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel), and Jane Elinor Notz (Assistant Corporation Counsel). Evans is represented on appeal by Jon Loevy, of Loevy & Loevy, who was also Evans' lead trial counsel. At trial, the defendants were represented by Andrew Hale, Eileen Rosen and John Rock from Rock Fusco, LLC.

Jerry Miller, Released From Prison After 26 Years, Has Convicton Expunged

Jerry Miller, who was released from prison in March 2006, after being incarcerated for 26 years, recently had his conviction expunged due to DNA testing that showed he did not rape a 44 year old woman back in 1981 on the roof of a parking garage at 506 N. Rush Street in Chicago. Miller became a suspect when police officers thought he looked like a sketch of the attacker. Miller was brought in for a lineup and identified by two parking lot attendants. At trial, the victim testified that Miller looked like her attacker. Miller denied any role in the crime. After a trial, the jury found Miller guilty of rape, robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery. Judge Thomas Maloney sentenced him to 45 years in prison. Miller's case was reviewed by the Innocence Project in New York, which triggered the DNA testing of the victim's slip. After Miller was excluded by DNA tests, the unknown DNA profile was submitted to the FBI's convicted offender database and a match was found. Miller was represented by assistant public defender William Wolf and Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld from the Innocence Project.

John Cayton Testifies In Brown's Chicken Case

Crime scene expert John Cayton recently testified in the Brown's Chicken murder case against Juan Luna and James Degorski. Cayton testified that two shoe prints found at the restaurant after the murders did not match Luna or Degorski. Cayton testified that a dirty shoe print found on a coupon on the kitchen floor was from a Nike shoe between size 12 and 14. Cayton also testified that a bloody shoe print found near a freezer was from a Reebox shoe that was either a men's size 9 or a women's size 7.5.

Karolina Obrycka Sues Anthony Abbate And City Of Chicago

Karolina Obrycka, the bartender at Jesse's Short Stop Inn who was beaten by Chicago police officer Anthony Abbate, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Abbate and the City of Chicago. Abbate beat Obrycka after she refused to serve him drinks. The beating was captured on the bar's security cameras. Obrycka has also sued Gary Ortiz, a friend of Abbate's who attempted to threaten Obrycka into not filing a complaint, and Patti Chiriboga, a waitress at the bar. The suit seeks $1 million in damages and alleges that the City of Chicago fails to investigage and discipline its officers. Obrycka is represented by attorney Terry Ekl. Abbate has been placed on leave by the police department.