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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Court Of Appeals Upholds Former Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge Manuel Acevedo-Hernández Conviction

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a 48-page opinion affirming the conviction of former Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge Manuel Acevedo-Hernández, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

Manuel Acevedo-Hernández appealed his conviction of having participated in a conspiracy to bribe an agent of an organization receiving federal funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and of receiving a bribe, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B). Acevedo-Hernández challenged his conviction and sentence citing a number of alleged trial and sentencing errors.

In upholding the jury’s verdict and sentence, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals concluded the following: “The record reflects that Acevedo’s conviction was not tainted by prejudicial error either from the admission of Rodríguez’s testimony or in the government’s opening statement or closing argument, and the evidence of his guilt was more than sufficient to support the jury's verdict. It further shows that the court did not abuse its discretion in upholding Lutgardo’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege. Finally, the record reflects that any sentencing error would be harmless. Accordingly, Acevedo’s conviction and sentence are affirmed.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico congratulates all the prosecutors and agents who worked tirelessly in the investigation and prosecution of Acevedo-Hernández, with great success,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

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Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated August 7, 2018