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Defense Attorney: DA Could've Brought Harder Charges Against Brandon Corey

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Defense attorney Paul Battisti says Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell's comments about Wednesday's sentencing of Brandon Corey were "misleading" when he demanded tougher laws against those who commit violent rapes.

Battisti pointed to an August 30, post on District Attorney Steve Cornwell's public Facebook page which read "we need real sentencing reform in Albany. Tougher laws and tougher minimum sentences."

Broome County Judge Joseph Cawley sentenced Corey to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a UHS nurse and raping and robbing a second nurse three weeks later. Cawley opted to let Corey serve all of his charges concurrently, meaning all together, and resulting in a shorter sentence. According to Cornwell, had Corey received the maximum sentence for his charges, he could've served 30 years in prison.

In addition to the Facebook post, Cornwell told reporters after the sentencing that he was disappointed with the time Corey will serve and called on state lawmakers to fix the issue.

"Our system re-victimizes the victims in many ways and I would like to see the Politicians in Albany work on that, work on victim's rights instead of Defendant's so-called rights," said Cornwell.

Battisti says there was a tougher charge the DA's Office could've brought against the Defendant.

"The New York State Penal Law did provide a tougher law and tougher minimum sentences and for one reason or another, the District Attorney chose not to use that Prosecutorial option," said Battisti. "If there's a law there, rather than talking about us getting that law, we already have it, let's use it."

According to Battisti, in 2006, the State Legislature created a criminal statute known as "Predatory Sexual Assault." 

S 130.95 Predatory sexual assault: A  person is guilty of predatory sexual assault when he or she commits the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the  first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article,and when: In  the  course  of  the  commission of the crime or the immediate flight therefrom, he or she:  (a) Causes serious physical injury to the victim of such crime; or  (b) Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument

Corey pleaded guilty to First Degree Rape where he admits to forcing a UHS nurse at knifepoint into her car where he raped her and then threatened to kill her if she called the Police.

According to Battisti, if convicted of Predatory Sexual Assault, Corey could've faced 10-to-life in prison 

"The Defendant would've had to have served every single day of 10 years before even being eligible for parole," said Battisti.

Battisti says it's important to be honest with the public and keep them informed about the situation surrounding the charges and the case.

Fox 40 reached out to the District Attorney's Office for comment and have not yet heard back.