Suspended Irondequoit Police Officer Back in Court
A suspended Irondequoit police officer accused of assault in an East End night club last May was back in court Friday.
Prosectors say Officer Jason Hughes, and his brother James, assaulted a Rochester man in the early morning hours of May 29th, 2011.
Both brothers were indicted and arraigned in October. They pleaded not guilty to assault in the third degree.
The alleged incident was captured in its entirety on security video. In addition to that evidence, two eyewitnesses were called to testify during a preliminary hearing.
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A bartender and a patron of Club Vinyl were repeatedly questioned by the defense about how well they knew Jason Hughes. Both identified him as being involved in the alleged assault last May. The prosecution says that testimony, along with the video evidence, is crucial.
"The video is pretty telling in and of itself," said Assistant District Attorney Caroline Morrison.
Morisson says security video captured that night clearly shows the victim, Guillermo Franco Jr., being assaulted by two men. Those men were later identified as Jason and James Hughes.
Franco, who shared his story with YNN in July, said he was attacked by both men after trying to help his girlfriend get away from the off-duty police officer. Franco said he needed 13 stitches and suffered a concussion.
James Hughes, who works for the Town of Irondequoit's highway department, was identified through security video showed to his boss. Hughes' attorney Joe Damelio challenged whether or not that identification was suggestive.
Morrison says it wasn't.
"That's our position and we're pretty confident of that,” said Morrison.
Why did Morrison say she was so confident?
“Because he knows him. They're looking at a video. No one told him to identify this particular person and he recognized this individual in the video,” Morrison said.
Jason Hughes remains suspended with pay from the Irondequoit Police Department. James Hughes is still on the job.
Damelio and Jason Hughes' attorney, Larry Adolina, left court without commenting.
Judge Morse will issue a written ruling on the challenges by the defense in early June. The next step will be to set a date for trial in county court.