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Duve to set the record straight

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duve wants to clear up a few misconceptions about her office.

Ms. Duve will be holding a media roundtable at 10:30 a.m. today at the St. Lawrence County Courthouse to “correct misinformation” being put out by Mary E. Rain, Republican candidate for district attorney.

“It’s my obligation and duty to the office to take this opportunity to allow as much transparency as I can manage within my legal and ethical restraints,” Ms. Duve said. “People have been misled on the process and it doesn’t lend itself to being described in sound bites, which is what is being done.”

An example of that misinformation is the rape case against Chunlei Xing, the Potsdam man who was charged with first-degree rape in November 2011 and pleaded down to misdemeanor second-degree criminal trespass in a plea deal in March 2012.

Ms. Duve said she couldn’t confirm the defendant’s name in the case since it was dismissed and sealed; however, the date of the plea deal occurred on March 21, 2012, the same time as Mr. Xing’s plea deal.

“We have been accused of failing to get justice for the victim because the defendant pled to a misdemeanor and got a fine,” Ms. Duve said. “The fact is that the victim chose not to pursue the matter and returned to her home overseas.”

Ms. Duve said that, without the victim, there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the charge.

“This appears to have been either conveniently ignored or intentionally misrepresented,” Ms. Duve said.

She said the amount of misinformation on what her office does and how it does it is unfair to the public.

“It is unfair that folks aren’t able to get a better understanding about how the office functions and limits of what it can and cannot do,” Ms. Duve said. “So this is an effort to shed a light on this process and correct some of that misinformation.”

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