A powerful former Long Island prosecutor is on trial, accused of conspiring to help cover for a police chief who slugged a handcuffed man who stole sex toys and other items from his department SUV.
The trial of 78-year-old Thomas Spota and one of his former top deputies, 53-year-old Christopher McPartland, started Thursday with opening statements.
They have pleaded not guilty to charges including obstruction of justice and witness tampering and deny all allegations of wrongdoing. If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justina Geraci said an investigation into then-Chief James Burke's 2012 assault on Christopher Loeb was going nowhere until a detective who was in the room accepted an immunity offer and started talking.