Justice for Cleo

It was Docket number 035823, the People vs. Loro Gjonaj. The charge was ‘Animal Cruelty’. Loro Gjonaj was charged with the beating of a dog causing broken bones, severe head trauma, and lacerations all over the dogs body.  The case was heard in court on Friday September 20th.

Animal rights activists had been calling for jail time for the defendant. They also put out notice that the defendant would not serve one day of jail for the animal cruelty, because of a deal with the Bronx District Attorney’s office. The Daily News ran a story that Loro Gjonaj was related to Bronx City Councilman Mark Gjonaj. 

The day of the trial came, and I decided to see what deal the defendant would get from the Bronx District Attorney’s office. I requested from the judge to take photos during the hearing. I expected the defense to object, but I was shocked to hear Judge Stroth tell me that she was denying my request because both sides objected. It seemed that this open and shut case requested a senior Assistant District Attorney to help the younger ADA. I would later ask this senior ADA why he objected to photos being taken, and I was told ‘No Comment’. 

The results of the deal was that the dog was declared disabled not abused, no jail time was given, no probation, a five year New York City registry with not being able to own any pet for three years, a one thousand dollar fine, and court costs of $250.00 with a time period of eighteen months to pay the fine and court costs. 

The five year registry however does not apply unless Loro Gjonaj moves to NYC since he resides in the City of Yonkers. It seemed strange that the ADA would ask the defendant where he lives at the time of the sentence, and not know that the defendant lived in Yonkers, and not New York City where the incident happened.

The defendant leaving with his interpreter, and a man.
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