Rabbi Eisemann’s Retrial Set to Begin on Feb. 6; State Appoints New Lead Prosecutor

At a pre-trial hearing for Rabbi Eisemann, Judge Joseph Paone set a date of February 1st for the trial’s commencement, which begins with jury selection, and said he expects the trial to be finished by February 6th. He also set December 1st as the date for pretrial conference.

The state has also apparently kicked prosecutor John Nicodemo off the case, appointing Michelle M. McBrian as his replacement. Nicodemo came under intense fire after the judge found that prosecutors had violated the Brady Act by withholding evidence from the defense.

Judge Paone denied the prosecutors’ motion for a stay on discovery. The state argued that allowing discovery to go forward would be a “waste of resources” and that “the nature of these requests may implicate various privileges including work product privileges and deliberative process privileges, and also goes to the heart of the state’s appeal of the alleged Brady violation.”

In other words, prosecutors appear to be acknowledging that there could be further exculpatory documents which they are continuing to hide from the defense counsel, which would be yet another stunning violation of the Brady Act.

Another point the prosecution pushed was that because the courts are so backed up because of Covid, they should take the cases that are more important and time sensitive and push this one off.

“Indeed, our Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized the need to prioritize the cases of detained defendants,” prosecutors said.

The judge denied the motion to delay the trial on two points: he said the saga has been ongoing since 2015 and that it wouldn’t be fair to Rabbi Eisemann for it to drag on any longer. He also said that the appeals court would presumably be done with the prosecution’s appeal by February, when the trial is set to begin.

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