Dale’s Lawyer Opts For Non-Jury Trial In Sex Case

Ramapo defense attorney David Goldstein decided today to have Justice Catherine Bartlett decide whether  fired Ramapo Police Officer Andrew Dale is guilty of sexual abuse.

Dale is accused of performing medical examinations of the gynecological type on the former wife of a Monsey businessman, Zalman Silber, who will be tried separately.

Dale and Silber are accused of performing exams on Silber’s former wife, Sarah,  under the pretense of insurance coverage. Silber faces similar accusations in Manhattan of giving gynecological exams to women in an office he rented.

Goldstein’s strategy in seeking a non-jury trial could be betting he’s gaining an advantage because of Bartlett’s contentuous relationship with the Rockland District Attorney’s Office.

She already has tossed 26 charges against Dale – two official misconduct counts and 24 misdemeanor sexual abuse counts. She found four felony counts each of fourth-degree aggravated sexual abuse counts and  unauthorized practice of a profession.

However, Bartlett last week denied Goldstein’s motions accusing prosecutors and Ramapo police of collusion. They claimed prosecutors used Dale’s confidential statement to police and video-tapped statement to build a criminal case. Those statements were only admissible in the disciplinary case. The hearing officer recommended a year suspension for Dale, but the Town Board voted to fire him.

Bartlett ruled Goldstein and Dale didn’t provide any evidence to support their contentions.

Sarah Silber will be the prosecution’s chief witness, along with taped recording conversations with Dale. Dale and Zalman Silber have claimed she has lied to get more money from her ex-husband during their divorce.

Opening statements by prosecutors James Meilion or Kevin Gilleece starts today, with Goldstein to follow.

Staying or Leaving Silber-Dale for Bartlett…

Judge Catherine Bartlett has scheduled a decision Monday at the County Courthouse in New City on whether she’ll remain or recuse herself from a trial accusing former Ramapo Police Officer Andrew Dale and millionaire Monsey businessman Zalman Silber of sexual abuse.

Bartlett told prosecutors and defense lawyers earlier this month that she had been speaking to a woman who all of a sudden began talking about Silber’s divorce. They are accused of performing gynocological medical exams on a woman once married to Silber.

Bartlett told the lawyers she immediately cut the unnamed woman off, but the woman created a potential conflict in the judge’s estimation.

Bartlett’s decision has not been without controversy.

The District Attorney’s Office has maintained she recused herself and reversing that decision would create appellate issues. The office has asked the court administration to name a new judge.

Defense lawyers countered that Bartlett did her duty by informing both sides of the limited conversation and they want her to remain on the case.

Bartlett originally scheduled her decision for Thursday, but told the lawyers and prosecutors to come back to her courtroom on Monday morning.

Bartlett, an appointed Court of Claims judge from Orange County, has had a volatile relationship at times with prosecutors during her tenure in Rockland. She’s has questioned the quality of their tactics, ethics, and conduct during trials and before grand juries.

In the Dale-Silber case, Bartlett tossed two official misconduct charges against Dale, contending the grand jury charges were not appropriate and lacked evidence. That decision automatically dismissed 24 misdemeanor sexual abuse charges as beyond the statute of limitations.

Dale’s lawyer, David Goldstein, filed motions to dismiss eight remaining felony counts. Silber’s lawyer, William Aronwald, contends there is no case against Silber, who also faces separate criminal charges of performing medical exams on woman in Manhattan.

A day before the grand jury indictment, Ramapo Town Board members fired Dale based after a civil service hearing, though the hearing officer who heard the evidence recommended a year’s suspension without pay. Dale has filed a multiple million dollar lawsuit in federal court against the town for the firing.