A Great Injustice

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Baysider Kenneth King spent nine months in Rikers for a vicious crime that the Queens district attorney now concedes it did not have the evidence to prosecute.

King, 41, was charged last September with the attempted rape of a 33-year-old Asian woman who was walking along the north service road of the Cross Island Parkway. DNA evidence now shows the police arrested the wrong guy.

The prosecutor’s office, which had notified the media of the arrest, dropped the charges in July.

On the day King was released, DA Richard Brown should have called a press conference to announce King had been exonerated by DNA evidence.

In what has become a dilemma of journalism, we published King’s name when he was arrested, even though we protected the identity of the rape victim.

King had a good alibi. He claimed that at the time of the alleged rape he was with his 90-year-old grandmother at Flushing Hospital instead of going to work.

King’s arrest was based on weak identification based on a police sketch and a police lineup rather than physical evidence. Why did it take so long to do the DNA test? When he knew he was wrong, why didn’t the DA make a public apology?

King has gone through hell and says his life will never be the same. We hope he’s wrong.

Constant Change

There was a time when College Point was the land time forgot. It was a great place to raise a family and almost no one passed through.

Then a modern supermarket opened on 20th Avenue. That was followed by a shopping center that brought people from all over Queens. The door for change was opened and it can’t be closed.

The Point 128 hotel and a mixed-use complex are nearly open for business. The complex on 20th Avenue will include the 114-room hotel, a full-service supermarket, a 300-seat seafood and sushi buffet, an indoor swimming pool, gym, karaoke establishment and rooftop terrace. All of this should be completed in September.

“We are a small, residential community and people moved here for that reason,” said Andrew Rocco, of the College Point Taxpayers Civic Association.

Sorry. College Point will never again be the same.

Posted 6:25 pm, August 8, 2012
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