FATHER MAY BE FREED IN RAPE (Appellate court says lawyer incompetent)
A Coram man was convicted in Suffolk County Court of first degree rape, first degree sexual abuse and three counts of first degree sodomy of his daughter more than 11 years ago. Now he may be freed soon in the wake of a federal appellate court's decision that his defense was sabotaged by an incompetent attorney. The man is not named because it would identify his daughter. He was sentenced to 12 1/2 to 25 years in prison in 1989. According to Newsday, the conviction stemmed from two alleged attacks, one while the girl was in first grade and the other three years later. The man testified that the charges were fabricated by his ex-wife, who persuaded their daughter to make the accusations. The daughter is now 20 years old. If the man is not retried in 90 days or if the district attorney's office doesn't get a stay of the Second Circuit decision, the defendant will be released.