Joe Tacopina Helps Clear NYPD
Sergeant of Rape Charges
In 2003, an NYPD sergeant named Vincent Chiarello
was cleared of the rape of Lori Gonzalo, his longtime
neighbor. His lawyer, Joe Tacopina, has a long
history of negotiating favorable plea bargains or
winning acquittals in cases that look like easy
While Chiarello admitted to making-out with his
accuser, he asserts that it was a consensual act, and
that they tended to have a very flirtatious relationship
to begin with. While this type of behavior had
occurred for some time, the relationship took a turn
for the worse when Gonzalo called Chiarello's wife
and told her about her husband's behavior.
Apparently, this upset his wife who directed her
anger at Gonzalo rather than her husband. This
eventually led to Gonzalo calling the police and filing
an accusation of rape against Chiarello. His defense
attorney managed to ensure that he was never
arrested, although he did testify before a grand jury.
The grand jury went on to clear him of wrongdoing.
Joe Tacopina expressed relief at the closure of this
series of events, mentioning that it had been a “very
traumatic” time for Chiarello and his family.