A Nassau County juror allegedly figured out a new way out of jury duty: he has been jailed after being accused of soliciting a bribe from the plaintiff in a lawsuit with the promise of swaying fellow jurors into a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor.
Deonarine Persaud was arrested Tuesday and charged with bribe receiving by a juror, a felony, and misconduct by a juror, a misdemeanor.
Prosecutors said the 53-year-old Long Beach man called the mother of the plaintiff in the trial Saturday and indicated that he had crucial information about the defendant in the case being heard at New York State Supreme Court in Mineola.
Persaud, who did not disclose that he was a juror in the trial, met the plaintiff’s father Sunday at the Home Depot in Freeport where he allegedly told the father that he would assure the family a verdict in their favor in exchange for 5 percent of the verdict amount.
The father recognized Persaud as one of the jurors. The family had notified their daughter’s attorney immediately after receiving the initial telephone call.
The father and the attorney informed the judge Monday, who reported the incident to the district attorney’s office, which launched an investigation. Persaud was arrested when he returned to court to report for jury duty.
He was ordered held at Nassau County jail on $50,000 bail following his arraignment Tuesday at First District Court in Hempstead.
Persaud faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court Thursday.
He is represented by an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which does not comment on pending cases.
Prosecutors did not disclose who the plaintiff or attorney are in the lawsuit.