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Judge vacates 1971 conviction; grants Emil Jaroszyk’s motion for new trial

FPS staff report

A Stark County man, convicted in 1971 of robbing a Harrison Twp. couple in Carroll County, probably will not be facing deportation to Germany.

Carroll County Common Pleas Court Judge Dominick E. Olivito Jr. vacated the conviction of Emil Jaroszyk, 66, who now resides in Louisville, and has granted a new trial on a motion of his lawyer.

Jaroszyk was found guilty of robbery and grand larceny by Carroll County Common Pleas Court Judge Paul M. Perkins following a trial to court in connection with the Oct. 30, 1970, robbery of $10,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Mike Kurtiak who resided at Rt. 5, Carrollton. Both are deceased.

Jasoszyk’s attorney, Elena N. Lougovskaia, filed a motion in Common Pleas Court to vacate Jaroszyk’s conviction due to the defendant facing deportation back to his home country of Germany and for a new trial. Jaroszyk’s family moved to the United States from Germany in 1951.

A response was filed by Carroll County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steven D. Barnett in opposition to Jaroszyk’s motion.

Olivito conducted a hearing on the motions in January. Testimony was heard from the defendant and former Carroll County Sheriff William E. Offenberger during the hearing. Offenberger was a deputy sheriff and helped investigate the case.

Following the 1971 conviction, a motion for a new trial was denied by Judge Perkins who sentenced Jaroszyk to concurrent terms of 1-25 years and 1-5 years in prison upon conviction of robbery and grand larceny. Judge Perkins granted the defendant’s motion to suspend execution of Jaroszyk’s sentence pending appeal.  Jaroszyk’s direct appeal was overruled and denied by the Seventh District Court of Appeals.

Jaroszyk then filed another motion for a new trial a based on newly discovered evidence not previously available to the defendant. The motion was denied by Judge Perkins in 1973 and the Court of Appeals denied the defendant’s appeal.

The original sentence was imposed by Judge Perkins June 24, 1974, sending Jaroszyk to prison for 1-25 and 1-7 years to be served concurrently.

While incarcerated, Jaroszyk’s defense counsel filed a motion to suspend Jaroszyk’s sentence and place him on probation. Perkins instructed the probation department to obtain a statement from a witness regarding the testimony of Mrs. Kurtiak during the trial. The witness made a statement to Deputy Offenberger that contradicted testimony given during the trial. 

In his 10-page journal entry filed Tuesday, Judge Olivito noted the “40-year-old record in his case is the backdrop for the current drama now occurring 42 years later wherein the defendant, having once having had an injustice imperfectly corrected, now suffers the catastrophic emergency of the additional punishment for his 1971 felony conviction, the threatened and very reality of deportation.”

Judge Olivito found Jaroszyk’s motion for a new trial is timely even though it was filed outside the “120 days after the verdict” since new evidence was found outside the 120-day limit. That evidence, Olivito said was discovered while Jaroszyk was in prison and did not come to light until after an independent investigation was conducted by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. “The new evidence came to light in 1974 and ultimately led to significant reduction in the defendant’s sentence,” he wrote.

When asked Tuesday afternoon if he planned to pursue a new trial, Carroll County Prosecuting Donald R. Burns Jr. said he wasn’t aware of the ruling and “would like to take a look at the case.”

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Judge vacates 1971 conviction; grants Emil Jaroszyk’s motion for new trial