Violent assault in upstate NY brings new bail reform law into question

Police say Jay Vasquez-Paulino can be seen in surveillance video pummeling his helpless girlfriend inside the couple’s workplace, Superior Package Company in the village of Harriman in Orange County

Vasquez-Paulino can be seen on the video leaving the facility after the attack, going outside and pulling a 12-inch kitchen knife form his backpack. He then slides the knife into his left sleeve and goes back inside. He does not use the knife but instead threw a phone at his girlfriend.

Vasquez was slapped with four misdemeanors, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, attempted assault and harassment, but was released with just an appearance ticket.

“The purpose of bail has been and will always be to ensure that the person returns to court,” said former prosecutor and now defense attorney Peter Frankel.

Frankel says that although the evidence appears to show a woman enduring a beating, the charges match the crime, especially under the state’s new bail reform which took effect on January 1. 

“The question really is, what’s the likelihood that this person will return to court for all of their appearances? If someone has a history of not returning to court with a long rap sheet and criminal record, that’s the type of person bail is probably more appropriate for,” Frankel said.

Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler released a statement saying: “Under the old law, significant bail would have been set in this type of case.”

According to Frankel, however, even without the new law, however, Vasquez-Paulino is unlikely to face additional charges since the victim only sustained minor injuries and the knife was never used. 

“If this exact case happened in December and if this person doesn’t have a criminal history, it’s very unlikely that any bail would have been set and had bail been set, it would have been a nominal amount,” Frankel said. 


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