Attorney jailed

Jailed attorney charged with assaulting guard in dispute over copy machine

A jailed Long Island attorney scheduled to go to trial today for allegedly stealing at least $300,000 from clients who had hired him to help them arrange adoptions was charged last week with assaulting a corrections officer after the officer told the lawyer to stop hogging the only copying machine in the law library.

Kevin Cohen of Roslyn was charged Thursday with second-degree assault, a Class D felony, and obstructing governmental administration, a Class A misdemeanor, in connection with the incident on Sept. 24 at the Nassau County Correctional Facility at East Meadow. He pleaded not guilty to the charges for which he could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. Bail was set at $30,000.

Michael Adams, the president of Nassau County Sheriff's Officers Association, said Cohen had been using the copying machine for a while and other inmates were waiting. When the officer told Cohen that he would have to step aside and give the others their turn, the two had words, and the attorney attacked the guard, Adams said. The officer sustained bruised ribs, but he is already back at work. Cohen was restrained, but he was not injured.

Cohen has been in jail since Sept. 29, 2009, when he failed to make $500,000 bail after being arrested on 69 counts tied to schemes to scam 13 families for whom he allegedly promised to help facilitate adoptions. Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in his trial before Supreme Court Justice William C. Donnino.

Cohen plans to represent himself, as he did at his arraignment in the assault case, the Nassau County district attorney's office reported. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge. Efforts to negotiate a plea bargain were unsuccessful, and the district attorney plans to seek consecutive sentences.

(Published by - October 4, 2010)

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