A tremendous police backlog and mistakes from the district attorney’s office in the Bronx will free a man whose DNA links him to three violent sexual assaults.
Brian Brockington, currently imprisoned on Ricker’s Island, was arrested in 2007 on rape charges after DNA evidence linked him to a 1993 gunpoint attack on a 29-year old woman. His cousin, Rodney Howard, was arrested in 2009 because of the match in DNA evidence.
However, a police backlog caused the DNA to not be processed for 10 years. This caused prosecutors not to file charges until one day after the 10-year statute of limitations had expired, forcing them to drop the charges against Brockington.
Two other cases against Brockington were also dropped. Per the New York Daily News,
one involving the rape of a drunken woman at a Soundview party in 2003 and sex-abuse charges stemming from a 1997 attack on a Bronx woman — because of “evidentiary issues,” including uncooperative witnesses who refused to testify,[Steven] Reed said.
It’s a cruel reality made all the more difficult to grasp because it has left Brockington openly mocking the justice system. An unconscionable delay of a decade is about to put a guilty man back on the streets.
In a phone interview, Brockington said,“It’s a joke. If they had my DNA, how come I’m only in here on assault?”
He continued, “How’d they mess up? That’s crazy.”
The New York Daily News reports that Brockington “cackled” while making that comment.
Brockington is well aware that he will see his freedom far earlier than deserved soon because of holes in the system. He is expected to be released in the near future for the five years he has served and will avoid having to register as a sex offender because of the missed deadline in charging him for assault.
Howard’s cousin, also saw charges dropped and was released from jail last February.