Sarah Stuteville
October 24, 2005

Jury deliberations ended today in the long-awaited re-trial of Miguel Malo, the Hostos student arrested for protesting against ESL budget cuts in August of 2001. In a courtroom full of supporters Malo was acquitted of intentional assault in the 3rd degree and convicted of reckless assault in the 3rd degree along with disorderly conduct.

Assistant D.A. Terry Gensler requested $3,000 bail be set due to the seriousness of a class-A misdemeanor conviction and Malo's immigration status (he is a legal resident). Defense attorney Karen Funk argued against bail being set citing that Malo had made every court appearance, of many, since his first trial in December of 2003. In the end bail was set at $1,000 with a $500 cash alternative despite Funks further arguments that Malo's family may not be able to afford the bail. Malo was escorted out of the court room in hand-cuffs and as of writing is still in custody.

Robert McGuire, Malo's attorney in a pending civil rights lawsuit against the CUNY officials and Peace Officers involved in Malo's arrested stated, "I have never seen this happen before, this is very unusual, for bail to be set for a misdemeanor conviction related to a demonstration." McGuire went on to say, "This is a tragedy for Miguel and his family after the sacrifices they have made through two trials. All of us think Miguel should be at home with his friends and family now."

The maximum sentence for misdemeanor assault is one year in prison, though McGuire stated that it would be unlikely that a first time offender be sentenced to jail time for such an offense. Sentencing is set for November 9. Malo has stated that he will appeal the verdict.

A press conference and gathering to support Malo will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, October 25, at 12 noon at Hostos Community College, 500 Grand Concourse just south of 149th Street. Take the 2, 4 or 5 train to 149th St.

CUNY Action to Defend Miguel Malo's numbers are: office, (212) 460-0983, cell (917) 520-5368

Previous Coverage of Miguel Malo Trial