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Jun 9, 2017 2:52 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Southampton Village Home Invasion Suspect Found Guilty In Riverhead Courtroom Wednesday

Marvin Siciliano-Nunez
Jul 19, 2017 12:03 PM

UPDATE: Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.

Mr. Siciliano-Nunez was found guilty of six counts on Wednesday morning in a Riverhead courtroom.

He will be sentenced on August 2.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on a charge of burglary in the 1st degree, burglary in the 2nd degree, criminal sex act in the 1st degree, and attempted rape in the 1st degree, all felonies, as well as criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation (throat) and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation (mouth), both misdemeanors.

He was found not guilty of felony burglary in the 1st degree as a sexually motivated felony.

"Obviously we're dissappointed," said David Geller, Mr. Siciliano-Nunez's attorney, noting that he plans to appeal the decision.

Ms. Oh declined to comment on the verdict.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 3:45 p.m.

Marvin Siciliano-Nunez’s fate was placed into the hands of 12 jurors on Tuesday afternoon, after attorneys from both the prosecution and defense gave their summations.

Jurors will decide whether to convict Mr. Siciliano-Nunez of seven felonies—two counts of first-degree burglary with the use of a weapon, one count of first-degree attempted rape by forcible compulsion, one count of first-degree criminal sexual act by use of force, and three counts of second-degree burglary—following his arrest in Southampton in August 2016. He also was charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, though resisting arrest was dropped due to lack of evidence on Tuesday morning.

After the jury was handed the case for deliberation, Mr. Siciliano-Nunez’s attorneys, David Geller and Adam Markou, of the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, both said they expected a short deliberation from jurors as they said the evidence provided by Assistant District Attorney Anne E. Oh did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their client was in the right state of mind at the time of the crimes because of intoxication from alcohol.

But in Ms. Oh’s closing statements, she said the evidence was overwhelming against Mr. Siciliano-Nunez.

“This case is about the evidence,” Ms. Oh told jurors on Tuesday. “We know it was this defendant. We know it was him. This is not a whodunit.”

Ms. Oh said there was no denying that Mr. Siciliano-Nunez was in the home. His medical discharge papers were in the house, his hospital bracelet was found near the home in the street and when he was stopped and detained by Southampton Village Police, he was found to be in possession of a number of items from inside of the house, including a woman’s black bra.

When the 19-year-old female victim took the stand last week, she testified that she was forced to conduct a sexual act on Mr. Siciliano-Nunez, and as soon as she noticed that the suspect was trying to penetrate her, she started to panic. The more she panicked, she said, the tighter Mr. Siciliano-Nunez wrapped his hand around her throat, so she acted like she was going to give in, but first had to let her two dogs out of the room. Mr. Siciliano-Nunez agreed to her request, she said, and as soon as the young woman got out of the room, she bolted out the back door, down the driveway and toward a group of workers.

“[The victim] used the one weapon she had in the house: her brain,” Ms. Oh told jurors. “This is about you believing what [the victim] said when she took the stand.”

Defense attorneys, however, said on Tuesday that the young woman was coached in how to answer the questions by Ms. Oh, and appeared a bit calm and collected, considering what she had been through.

Mr. Geller told jurors that Ms. Oh had the young lady get up and walk in front of Mr. Siciliano-Nunez and stand less than five feet away to point at locations on a map, just to show any type of reaction between her and the suspect.

Mr. Geller stated a number of other flaws in Ms. Oh’s presentation, such as a hospital video that was shown during the trial that showed Mr. Siciliano-Nunez zig-zagging down the hallway, appearing to be intoxicated just before his release from the hospital at 6:58 a.m. on August 5, 2016. Mr. Geller also said the nurse who conducted a sexual assault analysis on the victim did not mark on a form that the victim had swelling, bruising or marks on her neck or tears in her mouth.

Witnesses that day stated that they saw Mr. Siciliano-Nunez run out of the house, chasing after the victim holding a baseball bat over his head. The young woman also said her perpetrator held a baseball bat over her head while forcing her to perform a sex act, but the bat was never recovered, Mr. Geller told jurors.

But the elephant in the room, according to Mr. Geller, was that jurors knew intoxication would be an element of the story, as did Ms. Oh, but she failed to provide the Suicide Prevention Screening Form that Officer Pulliam filled out, to the defense until after the trial began. Officer Pulliam marked on that form, at 4:19 p.m., that Mr. Siciliano-Nunez “is still under the influence.”

“The defense wants you to believe only certain parts,” Ms. Oh told jurors. “This is not a case of conspiracy. This is a case where there is overwhelming evidence.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A request for a mistrial from attorneys representing Marvin Siciliano-Nunez—who is on trial for allegedly breaking into a Southampton home and sexually assaulting a female occupant last summer—was denied on Friday, after a hearing on Thursday centering on claims that the prosecution withheld information from defense attorneys up until the beginning if the trial.

The document in question was a suicide prevention screening form that was completed by Southampton Village Police Officer Lee Pulliam on the day that Mr. Siciliano-Nunez, 20, of Hampton Bays was arrested. The form is typically filled out when a prisoner is placed in a cell at the Southampton Village Police Department headquarters, Officer Pulliam said.

On the form, which was completed at 4:19 p.m.—nearly 8 hours after Mr. Siciliano-Nunez was picked up and arrested—Officer Pulliam indicated that the defendant was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, which contradicts statements he made during the trial that Mr. Siciliano-Nunez was calm and did not smell of alcohol or seem to be intoxicated.

Mr. Pulliam said he heard earlier in the day through conversation that Mr. Siciliano-Nunez was drinking the night before. In fact, Mr. Siciliano-Nunez was picked up by Southampton Town Police in Hampton Bays the night before the incident and taken to Southampton Hospital where he was treated for intoxication. He was released from the hospital just before 7 a.m., and the home invasion and sexual assault that he has been accused of perpetrating took place less than an hour later.

Mr. Siciliano-Nunez has been accused of sexually abusing a 19-year-old woman that morning, forcing her to provide a sex act while holding a bat over her head. The young woman testified last week that she was finally able to get out of the house by convincing Mr. Siciliano-Nunez that she would comply to his demands as long as she could let the dogs out first. It was then that she ran out of the house with no clothes, while being chased by the young man with a baseball bat held over his head.

Mr. Pulliam wasn’t the only person to give testimony on Thursday. Also taking the stand was Southampton Village Police Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison and Southampton Village Police Ordinance Inspector Angel Perez, who translated conversations between the police and Mr. Siciliano-Nunez into Spanish after his arrest.

Both Det. Sgt. Lamison and Officer Perez stated on Thursday that Mr. Siciliano-Nunez did not appear to be intoxicated and was calm throughout questioning.

In his plea for a mistrial, Adam Markou of the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, who, alongside David Geller, is representing Mr. Siciliano-Nunez, told County Court Justice Peter H. Mayer that Assistant District Attorney Anne E. Oh withheld the form, and it hurt their case with prejudice.

“Knowing there are contradictions … we may have cross examined deeper,” Mr. Markou said. “We believe there is an issue of intoxication. She admitted to the court that she withheld this.”

Ms. Oh admitted to withholding the form, but stated the court record shows that Mr. Siciliano-Nunez did not appear to be intoxicated through testimony.

Judge Mayer denied the request for a mistrial, but stipulated additional instructions would be given to jurors before Officer Pulliam’s testimony and before the case is handed over to the jury for a decision.

Jurors will be told that the information was withheld and prosecutors are not allowed to provide any information pertaining to the suicide prevention screening form or question anyone about the form. Instead, the form will just be placed into evidence.

“This is a violation of significant magnitude,” Judge Mayer told the attorneys. “[Officer Pulliam’s] testimony is [Mr. Siciliano-Nunez] did not appear intoxicated.

“He’s going to say he appeared calm and not intoxicated,” he added.

Mr. Sicilian-Nunez, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, has been charged with seven felonies—two counts of first-degree burglary with the use of a weapon, one count of first-degree attempted rape by forcible compulsion, one count of first-degree criminal sexual act by use of force, and three counts of second-degree burglary—following his arrest near the scene of the crime in August 2016. He also was charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing.

Testimony is expected to continue into early next week in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverside.

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