Immigrant Says He Didn't Understand Plea Deal Offer
The Law Tribune previews an important or interesting case most weeks when the Connecticut Appellate Court or the Connecticut Supreme Court are in session.
Case: H.P.T. v. Commissioner of Correction
Court: Connecticut Supreme Court
Date: Tuesday, September 27
Time: 11 a.m.
Attorneys: Adele V. Patterson, Michael Proto
Summary: A Vietnamese immigrant who was sentenced to 13 years in prison for assaulting his daughter claims his trial lawyer, because of a language barrier, never properly explained to him that he was offered a plea deal that would have prevented a trial and limited his prison time to nine years.
Background: Because the victim in this case is the defendant's daughter, full names were not revealed in court records. The father, H.P.T., is a 53-year-old Vietnamese immigrant accused of attacking his 15-year-old daughter with an umbrella and an iron in their family home on June 25, 2002.
Additional charges were later added when investigators discovered that besides the physical abuse, H.P.T. had also been sexually abusing the girl.
H.P.T. was charged with crimes including second- and third-degree assault, second-degree sexual assault, and risk of injury to a minor. In April 2004, he was convicted by a jury. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Christine Keller to 23 years in prison, suspended after 13 years, and 10 years of probation.