Sheriff Responds to Statement of District Attorney Adam Levy

[Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith issues the following statement in response to a written statement issued earlier today by Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy and his Office.]

At about two o’clock this afternoon, my office received via email a statement issued by Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy concerning the case of The People of the State of New York versus Alexandru lonut Hossu, a case involving the violent rape of a 12-year-old girl. Mr. Levy’s statement was apparently emailed to the media and to all Putnam County employees, and to untold others.

The arrest of Mr. Hossu was based upon the investigative findings of a multi-agency team comprised of members of the Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. The Putnam County District Attorney’s Office was involved in the case initially, but it became conflicted out of the case and the Westchester D. A.’s Office stepped in to assist. Mr. Levy asserts that it was he who first decided that his office should be recused from the investigation when he learned that Mr. Hossu was the suspect, that he ordered the recusal simply because his family had known Mr. Hossu for years, and that the recusal was done with the victim’s best interests in mind.

In fact, however, Mr. Levy’s assertion is not true. An assistant district attorney from Mr. Levy’s office was initially involved in the case. During the investigation, it came to the attention of the investigative team–the assistant D. A., the CAC caseworker, and sheriff’s investigators–that not only did Mr. Hossu and Mr. Levy know each other, but that Mr. Hossu was his live-in personal trainer. Upon learning that information, the assistant D. A. concluded that Mr. Levy’s office could not properly continue to participate in the investigation in any way and the Sheriff’s Office concurred in that conclusion. The assistant D. A. communicated that decision to Mr. Levy’s office and his office called the Westchester D. A. to ask for its assistance. So, in truth, the recusal of Mr. Levy’s office was not really his original idea at all, as he claims.

In any event, from Mr. Levy’s statement today–and from other communications that have come out of his office in this case–in actuality it appears that he has failed to honor or abide by the recusal decision of the investigative team. Rather, he is apparently trying to influence and effect the investigation, which could be perceived as an ethical violation of his official duties and perhaps even as an attempt to undermine it.

In his statement today, Mr. Levy asserted that the Sheriff’s Office arrested Mr. Hossu at a certain address in Brewster, which Mr. Levy described as Mr. Hossu’s residence. Then, in a second statement issued sometime later as a “correction,” Mr. Levy’s office stated that the arrest occurred at a different specified address, and again described it as Mr. Hossu’s residence. Those statements may be seen as further indications of Mr. Levy’s ongoing and improper involvement in this case, as he continues to make official pronouncements concerning the facts of the case despite his acknowledged conflict of interest.

Moreover, as the Sheriff’s Office has to date not publicized the specific place of Mr. Hossu’s arrest–and I am told that the Westchester D. A.’s Office has not publicized it either–Mr. Levy’s statement offers still more signs that he or his minions have made active inquiries into the case to mine for information. Again, those are more indications of what can be perceived as his improper, unethical and perhaps even illegal interference in the case.

Mr. Levy has deigned fit to attack the veracity of my office in its reporting of Mr. Hossu’s residence address. In point of fact, Mr. Hossu told arresting officers that his current legal address is 70 Indian Wells Road in Southeast. He stated the same legal address to the judge at his arraignment. That address has been confirmed by official records on file with the U. S. Postal Service and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, and other official sources. That address has been further verified by statements of witnesses.

To address the general tenor and tone of Mr. Levy’s statement, it should be very clear to any intelligent reader what Mr. Levy is attempting to do. Sadly, he is trying to distract the citizens from what this case is really about: the vicious rape of a little girl by a man whom he housed and hired as his personal fitness trainer. Unfortunately, Mr. Levy has now gone so low as to criticize the Sheriff’s Office sex crimes investigators. It seems, however, that what really bothers Mr. Levy’s that the investigation of Mr. Hossu–which, to emphasize again, was conducted by the multi-agency team of sheriff’s investigators, CAC caseworkers and the Westchester D. A.’s Office–has uncovered facts that may be very inconvenient truths for him.

In my view, Mr. Levy’s comments and actions would seem to suggest that, if he could have his own way, Mr. Hossu would never have been brought to justice for his crime and Mr. Levy’s relationship with him would have never been brought to the light of public scrutiny. We can be thankful, however, that because of the hard work, honesty and integrity of the multi-agency team that has investigated the case, Mr. Hossu has been called to answer for his alleged crime and the public has been enlightened about the facts surrounding the case, which can now be fully and fairly examined by the proper authorities.

My office is continuing to work with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in preparing the case against Mr. Hossu for prosecution on the rape charge. In addition, I have formally requested federal officials to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter to determine whether any prosecutable violations of immigration laws were committed, whereby Mr. Hossu may have been harbored, shielded, aided or abetted in the time leading up to, during, or following his vicious rape of the little girl in Southeast.