Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mobster plans to take the stand in his own defense at extortion trial

A reputed Colombo crime-family mobster who spent 22 years behind bars for a rape he didn’t commit is planning to play the sympathy card with jurors at his extortion trial next month.

Scott Fappiano, 52, of Staten Island became a poster boy for DNA-crime-scene testing in 2006 when he was cleared in the rape of a cop’s wife after more than two decades in the slammer.

Fappiano is now headed to trial in Manhattan Federal Court on Jan. 21 for allegedly helping to orchestrate a massive gangland effort to control the New York-New Jersey garbage-carting industry.

And he will “likely” testify on his own behalf, said his lawyer, Lee Ginsberg, to Judge Kevin Castel during a Dec. 20 hearing.

“I realize there’s parts [of the story the jury shouldn’t hear] because it would be viewed as sympathetic. But, if he testifies, in order for him to explain his life … I think it will have to come up,’’ Ginsberg said.

“I can’t put a client on the stand in a case where the jury has a 22-year hole that I can’t explain.”

When reached at his Todt Hill home on Friday, Fappiano told The Post that “it’s hard to tell’’ if jurors would be sympathetic after learning his story.

He pointed out that he won his freedom in the state court system and, “It’s a whole different ballgame in federal court.

“The deck is stacked against you there, but we’ll see,” he said.

Reputed wise guys rarely volunteer to testify in court because it could subject them being cross-examined about mob activities.

Fappiano was originally sentenced to 20 to 50 years in prison after a Brooklyn jury found him guilty of raping and sodomizing the woman in a brutal Dec. 1, 1983, attack. The woman’s cop husband was bound and forced to watch the horror.

At the time, Fappiano was a 22-year-old Bensonhurst wiseguy wannabe on probation for a juvenile sex offense.

The cop’s wife identified him from a mug shot, and prosecutors brought the case to trial despite Fappiano being a half-foot shorter than the 5-foot, 10-inch Italian-looking man she described as her attacker.

He remained in Attica before the Innocence Project got involved and cleared his name. The non-profit group’s lawyers tracked down a private Texas lab that had samples of jogging pants the victim was wearing at the time of the rape and found through testing that the male DNA on it didn’t match Fappiano.

But even after his stunning release, Fappiano still managed to find trouble.

He was one of 127 people arrested in 2011 in the biggest US mob racketeering crackdown ever.

He was sentenced to one month of time served and three years of probation after copping a plea to loan-sharking and extortion charges.

The Brooklyn federal judge who sentenced him, Kiyo Matsumoto, said Fappiano’s wrongful conviction in the rape case played a “very significant” role in her decision to not send him back to prison.

At his sentencing, Fappiano recounted some chilling prison ordeals, including having his face crushed with a pipe and cut with a razor blade and being stabbed in the back with an ice pick.

But he still couldn’t keep clean.

He was busted again in January along with 31 other reputed mobsters for allegedly scheming with rival Mafia families to shake down owners of legitimate garbage companies and secretly assume control of their operations.

Fappiano, a reputed Colombo member who is charged with trying to extort a waste-hauling company owner, has ties to the Gambino crime family, too.

He had three “made” uncles who rose to power in the Gambino ranks, including two notorious capos-turned-canaries, Frank “Frankie Fap” Fappiano and Michael “Mikey Scars” DiLeonardo.

His third Mafia uncle, the late Frank DeCicco, was “Dapper Don” John Gotti’s first underboss.



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