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Duve says she plans to set the record straight

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duve wants to clear up a few things about her office.

Ms. Duve will be holding a media round-table at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the St. Lawrence County Courthouse to “correct misinformation” she says is being put out by Mary E. Rain, Republican candidate for district attorney.

“It’s my obligation and duty to the office to take this opportunity to allow as much transparency as I can manage within my legal and ethical restraints,” Ms. Duve said. “People have been misled on the process, and it doesn’t lend itself to being described in sound bites which is what is being done.”

An example of that misinformation is the Potsdam rape case against Chunlei Xing, the Potsdam man who was charged with first-degree rape in November 2011 and pleaded down to misdemeanor second-degree criminal trespass in a plea deal in March 2012.

Ms. Duve said she couldn’t confirm the defendants name in that case since it was dismissed and sealed; however, the date of the plea deal occurred on March 21, 2012, the same time as Mr. Xing’s plea deal.

“We have been accused of failing to get justice for the victim because the defendant pleaded to a misdemeanor and got a fine,” Ms. Duve said. “The fact is that the victim chose not to pursue the matter and returned to her home overseas.”

Ms. Duve said without the victim there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the charge.

“This appears to have been either conveniently ignored or intentionally misrepresented,” Ms. Duve said.

Ms. Duve said the amount of misinformation on what her office does and how it does it is unfair to the public.

“It is unfair that folks aren’t able to get a better understanding about how the office functions and limits of what it can and cannot do,” Ms. Duve said. “So this is an effort to shed a light on this process and correct some of that misinformation.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Rain made the latest stop on her Accountability Tour in Ogdensburg Tuesday morning outside the former home of murder victim Bernard Trickey Jr.

Rain was joined by members of Trickey family.

“No case personifies my opponent’s failure more than the murder of Bernard Trickey Jr.” Rain said. “Three times my opponent tried and failed to convict the alleged murderer, Wayne Oxley. Three times my opponent failed to deliver justice to the Trickey family. Well, Nicole, three strikes and you’re out. It’s time for new leadership in St. Lawrence County,” Ms. Rain charged.

The Oxley case went to trial three times. Ms. Duve gained a conviction at the first trail, but the verdict was later overturned by the Appellate Division. The second trial ended in a mistrial, and Oxley was found not guilty by the third trial jury.

Ms. Rain also defended having crime victims stand with her at her campaign stops. “My opponent says I shouldn’t stand with victims during a political campaign. I could not disagree more. I stand with victims every day. I am running for district attorney because my opponent does not stand for victims. She stands for excuses,” she charged..

“My Accountability Tour is about these victims. They shouldn’t have to stand up and say they didn’t get justice. It is a DA’s job to secure that justice for the victim and their families,” Ms. Rain said.

“And I want these families and the people of St. Lawrence County to know that the next family who experiences a crime when I am district attorney will get the justice they deserve.”

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