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Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, who happens to be the son of television’s Judge Judy, has filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against county Sheriff Donald Smith. Levy claims that Smith said that he had interfered with a child rape case, which Levy says is untrue.
The Associated Press reports that Levy called Smith “an out-of-control sheriff who does not care about the truth” and that Smith “maliciously attempted to destroy” his reputation. But Smith denied the allegations and called the suit a “blatantly political” move, since Levy is up for re-election.
According to The Journal News, Levy spoke about the case for the first time at a press conference on Wednesday. The child rape case in question involves Alexandru Hossu, an illegal immigrant from Romania who has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in 2010. Levy said that he did know Hossu for over a decade, but claimed that Hossu never stayed at his home.
Smith said that Hossu was Levy’s live-in personal trainer, Levy said, but the prosecutor added that this is not true and he didn’t do anything to interfere with the child rape case.
“Mr. Levy's comments and actions would seem to suggest that, if he could have his own way, Mr. Hossu would never have been brought to justice for his crime and Mr. Levy's relationship with him would never have been brought to the light of public scrutiny,” the sheriff said in a statement.
Levy’s lawyer, Michael Sussman, noted that Levy didn’t name Smith as a county employee, so tax payers won’t have to pay for the proceedings.
Levy’s mother, Judy Sheindlin - the star of Judge Judy, said that her son is “principled, honorable and dedicated.” She added, “His moral compass is dead center...When someone attacks his character professionally or personally they best be prepared to back it up — shut up — or pay up.”