A former New York senator wants to have his prior guilty plea in an embezzlement and tax evasion case thrown out because he believes that he deserves a new trial. The ex-senator, Pedro Espada, Jr., pleaded guilty alongside his son after being accused of stealing money from the senator's nonprofit healthcare network to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The father and son also pleaded guilty to white-collar crime charges of tax evasion.
Espada now claims that the New York-based federal judge responsible for overseeing his case acted inappropriately by entering into the jury room while deliberations were ongoing. According to him, the judge stayed in the room for at least 20 minutes and pressured the jury into reaching a decision in the case. At least two jurors have apparently testified that the judge pointed out that the government had invested a significant amount of money to try the men and urged them to reach a consensus.