Review backs sex abuse conviction

MINEOLA, N.Y. — There is no reason to overturn the conviction of a man in a notorious 1980s sex abuse scandal, prosecutors announced Monday after a three-year review that was prompted in part by a 2003 Oscar-nominated documentary that questioned the prosecution.

There was strong reason to investigate and prosecute both Jesse Friedman and his father when the scandal erupted in 1987, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a 168-page report Monday. The new inquiry also concluded that father and son had abused young boys taking computer classes in the basement of their Great Neck home.

Both pleaded guilty in 1988 to abusing 13 children.


Friedman’s attorney, Ronald Kuby, called the report a ‘‘whitewash.’’ Kuby said they intend to continue fighting.

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‘‘Today is not the worst day of my life,’’ Friedman said at an afternoon press conference, accompanied by his wife, Lisabeth. Now an online book dealer who lives in Bridgeport, Conn., he added: ‘‘I’ve had many, many worse days than today and I’m standing strong and I’ve got as much fight in me — I’ve got more fight in me — than I’ve ever, ever had before. So, game on.’’

Rice’s review was undertaken after Friedman appealed his conviction following the release of ‘‘Capturing the Friedmans.’’ A federal appeals court in 2010 refused to overturn the conviction, but encouraged Rice, who was not the original prosecutor, to review the case.

Associated Press