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Exclusive Interview: Survivor of New York Sex Criminal Lawyer as Sentencing Looms
A monstrosity of a court ruling is about to be levied against, in fact, a monster.
Disgraced attorney Nicholas D’Angelo of Niagara Falls, New York was charged back in November 2020 with a litany of sex crimes, including multiple rapes and “engaging”, to use a soft term, with an underage prostitute. The indictment featured no less than 12 counts.
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The arraignment took place before Supreme Court Justice Richard Koch and the full list of charges, as reported by Audacy, just to cement it in the minds of a curious observer are as follows:
-One count of Rape in the First Degree, a Class “B” felony
-Two counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, Class “B” felonies
-One count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a Class “D” felony
-Two counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree, Class “E” felonies
-Two counts of Rape in the Third Degree, Class “E” felonies
-One count of Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree, a Class “A” misdemeanor
-Three counts of Patronizing a Person for Prostitution in the Third Degree, Class “A” misdemeanors
Nearly three years later, on the 25th of April 2023, he pled guilty, according to Buffalo News, to a superseding eight-count indictment in that case. This involved three different victims, one of whom was only 16 years old.
When D’Angelo was asked by State Supreme Court Justice Debra Givens, he gave the clear and unmistakable answer, “Guilty”.
Specifically, D’Angelo pled guilty to no less than four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, class D felonies, two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, and two counts of third-degree rape, class E felonies.
Assistant District Attorney Lynette M. Reda said that the first-degree sexual abuse charges represent a benefit to D'Angelo, compared with the class B felonies on which he was indicted, because they don't require a state prison sentence, according to Buffalo News.
It is said that “the sleep of reason brings forth monsters”. In this case, the sleep of reason brings forth a monstrosity. Abysmally, it has been reported that D’Angelo, 30, will only serve a feeble and offensive six months in jail, with a 10-year probation for sex offenders to follow. This is the result of a plea deal that D’Angelo’s lawyers reached with the Erie County District Attorney’s office. Now, this might not entirely be defined as “getting away with it”, but could it at least be said that this plea deal can absolutely not be described as “justice”, either of the abstract or precise variety?
For just one point of contact, it has been reported, back in 2018, that former Texas attorney and now sex offender, Mark Benavides, was sentenced to no less than 80 years in prison for various counts of human trafficking, up to and including trading sex for legal services. Re-read that and let it land. 80 years. 80 years against 6 months. Not a small point. Indeed, if D’Angelo were convicted on all of the original 12 charges, he would have faced a maximum of 35 years in prison.
Official sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, July 6th and the most earnest hope is that Justice Givens rejects the plea deal in favor of a real sentence with real penalties that demonstrates real and true accountability for D’Angelo’s pattern and practice of heinous acts.
Of course, the evils of the crimes themselves are self-explanatory, but there is another layer of insidiousness here when the methods by which D’Angelo exercised these crimes are considered.
In an exclusive interview with Wrong Speak, we spoke with one of D’Angelo’s former clients, Noelle DelZoppo, who accused him of raping her when he was her attorney and deployed a civil lawsuit.
It was back in the summer of 2019, after retaining the legal services of D’Angelo for assistance in a dispute with her landlord, that she told me in our interview she “knew something was off”. However, according to DelZoppo, she and her fiance were in such desperate need of help, that by the “second meeting that [she] went to that [D’Angelo] was encouraging me to come by myself.” DelZoppo alleges he had even threatened to purposely botch her case if she didn’t comply with his demands, even going so far as to telling Wrong Speak, ”he [D’Angelo] had no problem being inappropriate to me in the courthouse either, like, right in the courthouse pulling me down the stairs”.
DelZoppo alleges D’Angelo called her to his office, demanding that she come alone. DelZoppo, desperate to get her case over and done with, says she begrudgingly obliged. She recalled that when she arrived there, she made note of the fact that he wasn’t dressed in “lawyer clothes”, but that he was in “comfortable clothes,” which was her first signal that something was wrong. It was here that she told me, “He just immediately grabbed my face, started kissing me, touching me, pulling my clothes off, then you could figure out what happened from there”.
As far as the current case that this ridiculous plea deal is being considered for, DelZoppo played a massive role in getting the victims to come forward and speak with the district attorney. She told me that the district attorney failed miserably. “She didn't think that my case should be heard or that my case was a big deal, because I started off with a civil suit, and also, they said because I was loud about this and I was too talkative about it. Social media and stuff. So they didn't take my case. Because they wanted everybody to be quiet, and I wasn't quiet about it. So they took the other girls’. Mine was going to be used against him if it went to trial, like as a backup thing, but because he took the plea deal now mine and three other girls' cases got thrown out,” DelZoppo told Wrong Speak.
I went on to ask DelZoppo her thoughts on the plea deal specifically and she did not mince words. She told me “I am so disgusted, I mean, they dragged it out for three years.” Through tears, she went on to say that “...they dragged this case out. He was allowed to walk free; no punishment, no ankle monitor or nothing.”
Perhaps most shockingly, DelZoppo told me that, “He was allowed to still practice law. I found out there's over 40 victims of his. People that he was currently still doing stuff to as he was charged and this DA just wasn't listening and she wasn't helping.”
DelZoppo went on to say that she was “...disgusted because this is his second time and he's only getting six months when he could have been facing 35 years and I have respect for the other victims. I'm glad that they stood up…and I respect their decision but I personally am not okay with the plea deal.”
“I just think he's gonna get six months and he's gonna be out in four months, DelZoppo continued. “He's gonna go right back to doing it again if they don't label him as a Level 3 sex offender he's just going to be able to get another good paying job and he's so highly connected and protected it's sickening”.
To sharpen her point about the certainty that D’Angelo might do this again, it must be stated that these are by no means isolated incidents, but in fact, a demonstrated pattern and practice. Indeed, it seems suspect that a man who had already pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count of sexual misconduct as far back as 2009, should have even been allowed to practice law in the first place.
DelZoppo’s closing appeal, which I am simply an authoritative mouthpiece for and of, is that readers write to Judge Debra Givens, staunchly opposing this plea deal and that Judge Givens not only kick it out but that she works to label D’Angelo as a Level 3 sex offender.
For anyone that wants to know more about Noelle DelZoppo’s story, please go to her TikTok here.
She closed out our interview by telling me that she would “want to take away this plea deal and do a trial.”
Motivated readers can write to Judge Debra Givens, asking that D’Angelo be labeled as a Level 3 sex offender, at the address below:
Judge Debra Givens
Supreme Court Justice
Part 23 - 4th Floor
25 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14202