Juror accused of trying to solicit a bribe

May 18, 2011 3:13:36 PM PDT
A juror in a medical malpractice lawsuit is accused of trying to solicit a bribe for a favorable verdict.

Prosecutors say he promised to get the jury to rule in favor of the person who filed the lawsuit if he got a share of the malpractice award.

This is certainly one of the more unusual situations involving a juror in the court system on Long Island.

He's gone from being a juror hearing a case, to now being the defendant facing criminal charges.

A medical malpractice case had gone to trial in state supreme court.

Before it would abruptly end though, a lone juror allegedly tried to make his own settlement claiming, investigators say, that he could sway the rest of the jury and demanded 5% of the financial award.

"You have the justice system being compromised by someone because of pure greed," Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.

53-year-old Deonarine Persaud is being charged with bribe receiving and misconduct by a juror after investigators say he approached the plaintiff allegedly claiming he had crucial information about the defendant in her case.

Three days ago he arranged to meet with the plaintiff's father in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Freeport.

Investigators say he told the father he would assure the family a verdict in their favor.

"He knew specifically who to reach out to. He knew how to get in touch with that person. He made the offer. He was very specific about what the ground rules were going to be and I think he would have carried this out," Rice said.

At a home in Long Beach where Persaud is said to have a rented an apartment, there was no answer at the door.

But others who have business in the court system find his alleged actions most disturbing.

"I couldn't explain this guy's thought process because it is so bizarre. I have to admit I have not personally heard of anything like that myself outside of anecdotal stories from other cases elsewhere in the country," said Dennis Sweeny, an attorney.

"He violated that oath and broke the law, and we're going to hold him accountable," Rice said.

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