LOCKPORT — Evidence against a Falls attorney, facing criminal sex crime charges that a special prosecutor has described as "extremely disturbing", was turned over to his defense team during a brief and virtual Wednesday morning hearing.
Assistant Erie County District Attorney Lynette Reda, who is acting as a special prosecutor in the case against Nicholas D'Angelo, filed a certificate of compliance with State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., indicating that she had turned over all the available evidence as required by New York's recently amended trial discovery laws.
D'Angelo's defense attorney, Brian Melber, confirmed to the judge that he had received the material.
"It looks like it's a very forthcoming production," Melber said. "But we'll have to take a look at it."
Kloch scheduled another hearing in the case for early March.
D'Angelo, 27, has pleaded not guilty to a 12-count grand jury indictment that accuses him of multiple rapes and sex crimes and patronizing an underage prostitute. The indictment was handed up by a Niagara County grand jury, which heard evidence presented by Reda.
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case, in October, after Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek recused herself from an investigation triggered by a civil lawsuit against D'Angelo. Wojtaszek, who currently serves as Niagara County's District attorney and who was elected as a county court judge in November, asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the matter because due to D'Angelo's work as what she has described as a "volunteer" for her judicial campaign.
Reda was taped by Flynn to handle the actual prosecution of the case.
The indictment charges D'Angelo with one count of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act and a single count of second-degree unlawful imprisonment in connection with a woman identified as "Victim 1." The crime are alleged to have occurred in fall 2016.
He faces one count of first-degree criminal sexual abuse in in connection with a fall 2018 incident involving a woman identified as "Victim 2."
And he he is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree patronizing a person for prostitution in connections with encounters between August and October 2019 involving a woman identified as "Victim 3", a prostitute who was under the age of 17 during her first two meetings with D'Angelo and who Flynn said had just turned 17 before her last meeting with him.
Flynn noted that if D'Angelo were to be convicted on all 12 counts in the indictment, he would face a potential prison term of 35 years.
D'Angelo is out of custody on his own recognizance and Melber has said that his client maintains his innocence.