WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- An Ivy League-educated dentist who attacked a woman with a razor blade is seeking leniency at sentencing.
The dentist said years of domestic violence influenced her actions.
It was a confusing scene in July 2020. In a quiet New Rochelle neighborhood, a woman was injured in a razor blade attack.
Another woman offering to help was actually the one who committed the crime.
Dr. Alika Crewand is now asking for a measure of mercy at sentencing, under New York's Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act.
"I think it's a recognition that long sentences in prison are not the right answer for survivors of domestic violence," Legal Aid Society supervising attorney Ted Hausman said.
Hausman said domestic violence is often a contributing factor in crimes. In the Crew case, her legal team said multiple doctors agree she was subject to physical and psychological abuse. A court filing claims over the years her ex-fiancé held a gun to her head, choked her, and intimidated and isolated her from loved ones.
The defense said the ex-fiancé moved a new girlfriend into the home Crew purchased and occupied, adding Crew feared she would "be forcibly removed from her own home."
The defense argued the abuse was a significant factor in Crew's attack on the new girlfriend. It is asking for a one-year sentence, instead of the five-year minimum for first-degree assault.
"This is powerful mitigating evidence, this history of domestic violence," Hausman said.
The defense said Crew is deeply remorseful, and understands there must be punishment.
The Westchester County District Attorney's Office has indicated a year in jail is appropriate, and that will likely be the sentence handed down on Friday.
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