innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

John Kogut Exonerated by DNA Evidence

DNA evidence showed that John Kogut was not the man who raped a Lynbrook, New York teenager in 1984.

On Wednesday, December 21, 2005, Kogut was found innocent by Judge Victor Ort in a non-jury trial. He and his two co-defendants, John Restivo and Dennis Halstead were released two years ago when DNA evidence on the victim’s body was tested and did not match any of the three men.

“The next logical step is for District Attorney Denis Dillon to dismiss the indictments against John Restivo and Dennis Halstead,” said Barry Scheck, co-director of the New York Innocence Project. “The evidence against them is far weker than that which Judge Ort found was not enough to convict John Kogut.”

Kogut was questioned for 20 hours by police before giving a taped confession to the rape and murder of 16-year-old Theresa Fusco. Kogut’s attorney, Paul Casteliero stated that Kogut’s confession was coerced and his client had been railroaded at his first trial in 1986.

Click here to read the article written by Michael White about John Kogut.

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