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Livingston Broomes

Other Kings County CIU Exonerations
In May 2011, a 32-year-old intellectually disabled woman discovered she was pregnant and accused an acquaintance, 64-year-old Livingston Broomes, of sexually assaulting her.

Broomes, a native of Barbados, was arrested on May 3, 2011. On March 15, 2012, he pled guilty in Kings County Supreme Court to engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who was incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or incapacitated. At the time he entered his plea, he said, “I really didn’t rape nobody.”

Broomes was sentenced to 4 years in prison. He was released on parole on September 26, 2014.

On May 24, 2019, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to vacate Broomes’s conviction. The motion was granted and the charge was dismissed.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez released a statement saying, “After a lengthy and extensive investigation into this case, I have concluded that the cause of justice requires that we vacate the conviction of Mr. Broomes. Expert analysis of his mental capacity and an examination of the rest of the evidence reveal that the case was prosecuted as if an intellectually able individual had sexual relations with a person incapable of consent. The CRU investigation, however, revealed that he also likely suffered mental disabilities and likely did not receive effective legal assistance.”

Gonzalez said the Conviction Review Unit investigation, which began in 2017, discovered that Broomes had been in a serious motorcycle accident “in his late teens or early twenties and was severely injured, suffering two broken legs and serious head trauma that left him comatose for more than six months.”

Moreover, Broomes was diagnosed with dementia within weeks of his arrest. Family members said he was “slow.”

Meanwhile, the complaining witness had been classified as a special needs child years earlier and had attended a high school for teenagers with developmental disabilities, Gonzalez said.

In addition, according to Gonzalez, Broomes’s defense lawyer admitted that he never considered defending the case on the basis that Broomes was mentally disabled. The lawyer did not recall that a few months after Broomes was arrested, he “began displaying signs of dementia.”

Gonzalez said the CRU investigation included “an examination of police and court records, interviews with family members of the complaining witness and defendant, interviews with the defense attorney, and medical reports and examinations of both complaining witness and defendant.”

“The CRU has concluded that the defendant was likely mentally disabled at the time of the alleged offense and, therefore, pleaded guilty to a crime which he may not have legally committed,” Gonzalez said. “Furthermore, the defendant’s likely diminished mental capacity to recognize the complaining witness’s intellectual disability may well have contributed to his inability to comprehend that she could not legally consent to engage in sex or that his conduct was wrong.”

Broomes subsequently filed a claim seeking compensation in the New York Court of Claims. He was awarded $326,923 in 2021. In May 2022, Broomes filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking further compensation.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 6/3/2019
Last Updated: 7/21/2023
State:New York
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2011
Sentence:4 years
Age at the date of reported crime:64
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No