Mich. court orders new trial, citing poor defense

AP News
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Posted: Apr 06, 2011 7:17 PM
Mich. court orders new trial, citing poor defense

A man convicted of sexual assault has won a new trial after the Michigan appeals court said his lawyer did a poor job, including a failure to cross-examine the young girl.

The review of Jeffrey Gioglio's convictions began with the prosecutor who won the case raising concerns about Susan Prentice-Sao's performance. The prosecutor says the defense attorney smiled and referred to Gioglio as "toast" after he was sentenced to at least 80 months in prison in 2009.

In a decision released Wednesday, the appeals court threw out Gioglio's convictions, saying his constitutional rights were violated because his attorney was ineffective.

Prentice-Sao referred calls to another attorney, Bob Champion, who called the ruling "bizarre." He says if the trial judge thought she was ineffective, the verdicts would have been set aside.