Client’s sex assault trial ends in a hung jury after the jury decided that the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office could not prove their case. The Commonwealth’s alleged victim and witnesses clearly did not convince the jury of the FALSE allegations. In fact, through effective cross examination it was abundantly clear that the motive behind the false allegations stemmed from a bitter and contested divorce.
Moreover, it became clear that the real issue was how much money could be extorted from the accused. Attorney Steven C. Townsend promised and successfully delivered to the jury the proof of the extortion motive with a jaw dropping piece of evidence the Commonwealth did not see coming……the “extortion note” written and authenticated by the mother.
It is expected that the case will be tried again, and the Commonwealth yet again try to convict an innocent man.
A hung jury does not, in any way, imply guilt. In fact, it signifies that the client is NOT GUILTY. In this case, it underscores the lack of evidence and the incredible testimony of the alleged victim’s false allegations.
Steven C. Townsend is committed to upholding the principles of justice and the presumption of innocence. This case is a reminder of the legal system’s complexity and the importance of hiring competent counsel to protect the rights of the innocent.
Steve Townsend addresses the lack of evidence in this case.
BEAVER, Pa. —
Eighteen-year-old Nasean Hunt will stand trial in what authorities have described as the execution-style killing of 15-year-old Asaun Moreland one month ago in Ambridge, Beaver County.
In a preliminary hearing Wednesday, the prosecution presented five witnesses, including two eyewitnesses to the killing. The defense tried but failed to convince District Judge Eileen Conroy there wasn’t enough to hold the defendant for trial.
On July 9, Moreland was shot several times by two figures wearing hoodies and dressed in dark clothing. It happened on Church Street near the Ambridge library.
Moreland’s family was in the courtroom to hear the testimony and the decision.
“We’re just grateful, and our nephew, my brother’s son, my mother’s grandson, we are getting justice. We are getting justice., yes we are, and we are grateful, said Samantha Gibson, an aunt of the victim.
“It’s beyond a reasonable doubt, and justice will be served. yes it will, said Bambi Moreland, also an aunt of the victim.
Authorities have said Hunt was one of two shooters — including one unidentified and still at large — who shot and killed Moreland.
Witnesses testified Wednesday to hearing rapid gunfire that sounded like fireworks and then seeing two figures dressed in dark clothing, including hoodies, gunning down a third figure.
Asaun Moreland vigil in Ambridge Ambridge community honors 15-year-old shooting victim, prays for healing
None of them specifically identified Hunt, citing darkening conditions, and dark clothing, including hoodies and masks, worn by those who fired the shots.
One neighbor testified he followed the shooters while he was on the phone with 911 and saw one of them enter an apartment building.
Police testified to getting a warrant, searching that building, and finding Hunt — the only person who matched the clothing description.
Hunt’s defense attorney argued that there was no evidence actually linking Hunt directly to the crime.
“I think it’s a very thin case. I don’t think there’s anything that really ties my client to the scene, let alone the shooting. Other than the fact that he’s an individual, a Black individual, who had black clothing at the house. There’s nothing that tied him to this murder scene,” said attorney Steven Townsend.
“I would submit to you that you go downtown in Ambridge, look around and see what individuals are wearing. And about 80 percent of them are going to be wearing black hoodies and black sweat pants and some kind of tennis shoe,” Townsend said.
Steve Townsend represents 39-year-old Erin Petroski, who is charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence after police said she hit and killed 31-year-old Elizabeth Griser on Babcock Boulevard on Jan. 13.
Great person. Even greater attorney. I knew from our first meeting that he was the best. A completely honest and trustworthy man. Atty. Townsend will always be the name i recomend to others in need of representation.
Townsend is an overall amazing attorney!! A family member of mine was recently in need of legal support, and Townsend was incredibly helpful. He was professional, attentive, trustworthy and truly eased their worry throughout the process! I 100% recommend him as your lawyer! You will not be disappointed.https://goo.gl/maps/KoEqVGu8oyizMT5PA
This man (Mr. Townsend) is an incredible person. He is kind, attentive and comes in like a wrecking ball to fight and win for you with everything he’s got! He’s funny yet completely honest and professional. I would recommend him to anyone with out a doubt in my mind and with out question! He is a good man who is great at his job! I could not have asked for anyone better to represent myself. I cannot speak highly enough of him and how he goes above and beyond!
The Kaper Family
Sexual assault has been consistently shown to be the most underreported violent crime in the United States.1, 2 Victims cite a range of reasons for not reporting their victimizations to law enforcement, including feelings of shame and self-blame, fear of not being believed, and accusations about complicity in the crime.3–5 Another complexity within sexual assault reporting is possible false reporting. Research suggests that about 2%–10% of sexual assault reports are false.
For more information click here.
To begin if there were more stars available I would definitely rate Mr. Townsend a 100 stars. Mr. Townsend has been an ambassador of defense and professional representation not just for myself but for my family members and good friends the same. Always does his upmost to get the best results in whatever matter legally. If ever one would need legal representation, I would strongly recommend them th e best legal representation there is with Mr. Townsend. An attorney can always trust and feel secure with.
Steve Townsend was an amazing attorney. The judge even said “I heard you were good but not that good”. He was so easy to work with and extremely reliable. If I ever need an attorney in the future he’s who I will be calling.
Probation is a sufficient sentence
Saying he wouldn’t send her to prison so she can pay restitution, a federal judge on Thursday sentenced the former treasurer of a Beaver County youth soccer association to probation for stealing $100,000 and using it to pay for cruises, merchandise and household bills.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab imposed a term of five years probation on Jenessa Tolejko, who had waived indictment by grand jury and pleaded guilty to stealing from the Brighton Township-Beaver Soccer Association.
He also put her on home detention for nine months and ordered her to pay at least $1,000 a month towards full restitution.
Ms. Tolejko said that she stole because of her family’s financial difficulties brought on in part by medical expenses for her son.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Bengel rejected that explanation, saying she didn’t use any of the money for medical payments but instead paid for a Royal Caribbean cruise, a flight to Hawaii, her mortgage, various bills from utilities and personal purchases from Amazon and the high-end LuLaRoe clothing company.
“She had easy access to a significant pot of money and she thought she could use it for her own purposes without getting caught,” Mr. Bengel said.
In fact, he said, she was only discovered because of a story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 2019 that reported she had been accused of stealing $3,000 in pet adoption fees from an animal rescue service. The soccer association approached her after that to discuss the association finances. A week later, Mr. Bengel said, Tolejko’s father-in-law wired her $35,000. He told investigators that he believed he was helping her resolve a “state case involving dogs,” Mr. Bengel said.
He said the Tolejko family has a nice home and her husband has a good salary as an electrical engineer working in Ohio, so there was no financial distress to serve as motivation for the thefts. In addition, the soccer association said it has suffered greatly because of her actions.
“I think a sentence of imprisonment is necessary,” Mr. Bengel said.
The guideline range was 21 to 27 months.
Tolejko and her lawyer, Steve Townsend, asked for probation, saying she has already paid $5,000 in restitution and is needed at home to care for her three children and her mother.
Tolejko said she is “incredibly remorseful” for violating the trust the association gave her.
“I selfishly violated that trust,” she said. “I embarrassed my family.”
Judge Schwab said her conduct was “outrageous” but granted the probation request because the association said its priority was to get its money back. In addition, he noted her solid work history and her need to care for her children.
“Incarceration would be inconsistent with the goal of restitution,” he said.
But he also said he’s well aware that her thefts were for personal luxury items and other expenses as opposed to medical bills, for which the family had health insurance.
“Just to make it clear, these were not medical expenses,” the judge said.
Tolejko had complete control over the soccer association’s bank account, debit card and two certificates of deposit. The money was supposed to go towards soccer gear, field fees and the like.
From 2016 to 2019, Tolejko caused about $180,000 to be deposited into the soccer association’s Citizens Bank account and then used $100,000 of it for herself.
She also transferred money from the association’s Blue Sombrero account into two other accounts that she and her husband controlled. Blue Sombrero provides league management tools for youth sports leagues.
As a result of the embezzlement, Mr. Bengel said the soccer association has not been able to replace deteriorating soccer gear and had to charge families higher fees to recoup the money.
First Published August 26, 2021, 12:35pm