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Ex-State Rep. Abraham Giles, Accused Of Extortion Attempt, To Seek Special Probation

JEFFREY B. COHEN

September 24, 2009

HARTFORD - Former state Rep. Abraham Giles plans to ask a state court judge to allow him to take part in a special probationary program that would not include an admission of guilt.

Giles and Mayor Eddie A. Perez were arrested earlier this month on charges related to what state prosecutors say was the attempted extortion of a city businessman.

Giles is planning to apply for accelerated rehabilitation, a program in which criminal charges are expunged after the successful completion of a probationary period.

Defense attorney William Dow III said that the program is "designed for people without criminal records who have made, essentially, a mistake."

"He's not admitting guilt," Dow said, referring to Giles. "It's a way to resolve the case and leave the accused with a clean criminal record. It's a one-time deal."

Giles was at a meeting of the city's Democratic town committee Tuesday night, where he gave some people a form intended as an outline for letters of support on his behalf.

"I did that. Yes," Giles said Wednesday. "The lawyer handed it to me and I handed it to a few people."

The form he handed out, intended as a model for supporters to address to Judge Julia Dewey, begins this way: "This letter is in support of Abraham Giles who has applied for the pretrial accelerated rehabilitation program." It says that letter writers should say how long they've known Giles, detail their contacts with him and his "good deeds."

The form directs people to address their letters to Dewey, but to send them to Giles' attorney, John J. Kelly, no later than Oct. 2.

Giles was arrested on Sept. 2 and was charged with one count of criminal attempt to commit larceny by extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit larceny by extortion.

State prosecutors say that Perez, in his 2007 race for mayor, attempted to extort money from a private developer for the benefit of Giles, a political ally.

In return, Giles could have brought Perez votes, prosecutors alleged.

Giles' next scheduled court date is Oct. 16.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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