DA-Cop Sex Breached Ethics But Not Sanctity of Irvine Rape Case

Categories: Crime-iny, Moxley

Gurel is stuck in prison

​Wickedly cruel Irvine rapist Metin Reza Gurel may have thought he'd found a way to overturn his 2008 convictions when officials conceded after his trial that the prosecutor and the lead Irvine police detective on the case had shielded their sexual affair from defense lawyers.

That salacious news originated in September 2008 from Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who said he was "regretful" to learn that Deputy DA Suzy M. Snyder violated office ethics by secretly engaging "in a sexual relationship with a testifying police witness."

Because the government has a duty to disclose to the defense exculpatory evidence--including information that might impeach a witness, Rackauckas immediately notified Gurel's defense team, James Crawford and Leonard Klaif.

Not lost on the defense was the fact that they'd suspected that the police detective had encouraged the embellishment of the victim's testimony in order to secure convictions. A flurry of legal moves followed. Synder never returned to her office at Harbor Court in Newport Beach. Gruel, 44-year-old Turkish citizen, may have thought he'd soon see freedom again.

Late last month, justices at a Santa Ana-based California Court of Appeal considered the ethics breach, but nonetheless concluded that the DA's case against Gurel was so strong that a jury would not have "reasonably" arrived at a different verdict had it known of the DA-cop romance.

Gurel--who received a six-year sentence in early 2008 for engaging in forced oral copulation, criminal threats (he threatened to puncture the victim's vagina with a heated screwdriver) and the use of a deadly weapon--remains locked in prison.

Go HERE to read the original article about Gurel's rape trial.

--R. Scott Moxley /  OC Weekly

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