July 9, 1998 |
A jury of four whites and two blacks began deliberating in Poughkeepsie in the racially charged defamation lawsuit against black activist Rev. Al Sharpton and two others stemming from a rape hoax more than 10 years ago. Sharpton and lawyers Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason are being sued by Steven Pagones, a former Dutchess County prosecutor, who said the three men defamed him by publicly calling him a rapist at least 30 times.
December 3, 1997 |
Tawana Brawley, breaking a decade of silence, insisted that she was kidnapped and raped by white attackers, even though a grand jury declared her story a hoax. "For 10 years they've been lying to you," Brawley told 600 people at a Brooklyn church. Her remarks came on the eve of opening arguments in a $150-million defamation suit against three advisors: Alton Maddox, attorney C. Vernon Mason and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
March 27, 1998 |
Ex-prosecutor Steve Pagones, who is suing three of Tawana Brawley's former advisors for defamation, took the stand and emphatically denied raping her, saying he's never even met her. Pagones is suing the Rev. Al Sharpton, C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox for $395 million for publicly accusing him of assaulting 15-year-old Brawley with a gang of other white men in 1987 in New York City. A grand jury later dismissed her tale of rape as a fabrication and cleared Pagones.
January 29, 1995 |
A lawyer involved in the Tawana Brawley case and other racially charged court battles has been disbarred after being found guilty of 66 instances of misconduct, including fee gouging and theft. The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division upheld 66 of 71 charges against C. Vernon Mason and prohibited him from practicing law. The court scolded Mason for taking advantage mostly of low- or moderate-income clients who had come to him "because of his reputation in the community of the disadvantaged."
July 28, 1998 |
Lawyers for the men who accused a former prosecutor of attacking Tawana Brawley argued that the men should have to pay only a dollar for each of their defamatory statements. A jury has already found that the Rev. Al Sharpton, Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason defamed Steven Pagones by accusing him of raping Brawley in 1987. The penalty phase of the case is expected to continue through today in Poughkeepsie.
July 10, 1998 |
The judge in the racially charged defamation trial of black activist Rev. Al Sharpton and two others ordered the jury sequestered during a second day of deliberations in Poughkeepsie. The panel of four whites and two blacks suggested to New York state Supreme Court Justice S. Barrett Hickman that they be sequestered.