People
v.
Bronson (Melinda)

Appellate Term of the Supreme Court of New York, Second DepartmentDec 9, 2004
2004 N.Y. Slip Op. 51556 (N.Y. Misc. 2004)

2003-893 QCR.

Decided December 9, 2004.

Appeal by defendant from a judgment of the Criminal Court, Queens County (M. Aloise, J.), rendered on March 3, 2003, convicting her of attempted sexual abuse in the third degree (Penal Law §§ 110.00, 130.60) and attempted endangering the welfare of a child (Penal Law §§ 110.00, 260.10), and imposing sentence.

Judgment of conviction unanimously affirmed.

PRESENT: PESCE, P.J., PATTERSON and RIOS, JJ.


Contrary to defendant's contention on appeal, she was not denied a fair trial by the court's failure to grant her motion to exclude the child-witness's father from the courtroom while the child testified. The defendant failed to establish an overriding interest that would likely be prejudiced if closure of the courtroom to the father was not ordered ( see Waller v. Georgia, 467 US 39, 48; People v. Nieves, 90 NY2d 426). Closure of the courtroom during a criminal trial must be sparingly exercised and, then, only when unusual circumstances necessitate it ( People v. Jones, 47 NY2d 409, 413; People v. Hinton, 31 NY2d 71, 76). In the case at bar, there were no unusual circumstances presented by defendant warranting the relief requested.