The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has rejected Kisha C. Curtis’ application for entry into the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI).
PTI is a diversionary program. The charges pending against a defendant are dismissed after they successfully complete the program.
Assistant Prosecutor Margarita A. Rivera put the state’s position on the record in court today before the Honorable Joseph C. Cassini, III, J.S.C. The defense attorney opposed the decision and indicated he will appeal the denial. Judge Cassini scheduled a hearing for April 8 at 1:30 p.m. to hear arguments from both sides.
On Mar. 29, 2011, Curtis, 28, of Newark was charged with fourth degree animal cruelty when her one-year-old pit bull “Patrick” was found at the bottom of a trash chute in an apartment complex in Newark on Mar. 16, 2011. The dog was named “Patrick” by workers because he was discovered just before St. Patrick’s Day.
“We don’t believe this defendant is a good candidate for the PTI Program,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Rivera. “Given the cruel nature of the crime committed by this defendant against a defenseless and vulnerable dog, we believe allowing her to enter PTI would send the wrong message to others who might commit similar offenses.’’
The charges against Curtis are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.