Businessman Claims Cop Forced His Wife Into Sex Relations In Retaliation For Suit Against Senior NYPD Officer

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Investigated by IAB and NYPD. Wilfinger in bed next to Gounden's wife. Screen shot from video cropped.

The New York Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) is investigating allegations by Kris Gounden, a Queens businessman, that a police officer named James Wilfinger forced his wife into sexual relations and that he's also been charged with attempted rape of his step-daughter in retaliation for a lawsuit he filed against a senior police officer who once headed the 106 precinct.

The NYPD didn't confirm to The Black Star News if Wilfinger is a police officer on the force and didn't respond to a question concerning the precinct he's assigned to.

Gounden confronted and videotaped Wilfinger in bed with his wife on at least two occasions, in November 2016 and in January 2017. He's shared a copy of the three-minute recording with two IAB detectives who interviewed him on September 13, he says. He's also provided a copy to a private investigator and shown the recording to this newspaper.

Also on the same bed during the November encounter was Gounden's son who was three years old at the time.

Over the years, Gounden has been arrested at least eight times by officers from the 106 precinct on what he contends are bogus charges meant to tie him up in the court system. The cases are ultimately dismissed but the campaign has ruined his residential rental business, he says. Wilfinger isn't listed on the 106 precinct's website.

Gounden, whose family are Guyanese immigrants, claims a vendetta was launched against him and his family about 10 years ago when they first moved into the Howard Beach neighborhood as the first non-White family. The Goundens complained when a bat-wielding neighbor threatened them and called them the N-word. The neighbor was arrested but he was not indicted.

The family's encounter with racism initially gained wide media coverage including by WNBC, WCBS, WABC, and Fox News and it was granted 24 x 7 protection by officers from the 106 precinct for several months. It's when the coverage faded that retaliation, including the multiple arrests by officers from the same 106 precinct started, Gounden claims.

Gounden alleges that Wilfinger initiated sexual relations with his wife as part of the on-going campaign and also as retaliation for a lawsuit he filed in 2015 against Thomas Pascal, who's now an NYPD IAB deputy inspector. At the time, Pascal was the commanding officer at the 106 precinct and was involved in some arrests of Gounden, including the one that led to the lawsuit, he says. (The lawsuit itself, discussed in part II next week, is related to Gounden's claim that the city is trying to "steal" part of his property).

The IAB detectives are also investigating allegations by Gounden that officers from the 106 precinct coerced his step-daughter into filing the false attempted rape charges; that case was meant to start on September 14. It was adjourned on the same day when The Black Star News contacted the Queens D.A.'s office to inquire about Gounden's allegations. The Black Star News requested comments about a letter Gounden sent to D.A. Richard Brown detailing his allegations. Gounden says in addition to The Black Star News and other media outlets he copied the letter to: Mayor Bill de Blasio; Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill; IAB; and, CCRB.

Mayor De Blasio's spokesperson didn't respond to an inquiry seeking comment; the IAB did not respond to a message; and, a spokesperson said the Queens D.A.'s office couldn't comment about a pending matter.

A spokesperson for Police Commissioner O'Neill said: "The matter is under internal review." The spokesperson didn't respond to a question about the precinct where Wilfinger is assigned.

A legal aid attorney, Leonard Ressler, who is representing Gounden, in an e-mail message about the status of the case said: "Under investigation."

Gounden claims Wilfinger started having sex with his wife sometime in November 2016. He claims he went to their residence in Howard Beach with another male also introduced as a police officer and asked his wife what she knew about his lawsuit against Pascal, stemming from an arrest on September 8, 2013, on his property. At around the time of Wilfinger's visit, Gounden and his legal advisor were trying to depose Pascal, he says. (More on that case in part II next week).

It was also sometime in November that Gounden discovered sexually explicit text messages from Wilfinger to his wife. Gounden has been living with his grandmother in Queens, due to the strain on his family from the multiple arrests and alleged harassment from various city and state agencies. His wife lives on their Bayview  Avenue property with their three children --ages 11, 10, and four-- and his mother in law. "So this Wilfinger guy comes fishing for information about my lawsuit against Pascal and ends up coercing my wife into sexual relations in order to get this information," Gounden says. "He even lied about wanting to marry her. He's already married with children. He told her that I was either gonna get locked up in jail or get killed anyway. That she was wasting her time with me."

Gounden says Wilfinger even forced his wife into having anal sex after which she couldn't sit properly for a while. "My wife had never had anal sex," he says. "She complained to me." Gounden said he bought medication for his wife and took photographs.

Gounden hired a private investigator who tailed Wilfinger. He too followed him to bars on occasions. His wife, who never used to drink, was suddenly driving home under the influence, he says. "He gave her a PBA card with his signature and badge number on it. She was to show this to any officer if she was ever stopped for DWI," he says. The badge number on the card is: 31561.

On November 16, 2016, Gounden followed Wilfinger and his wife to the Gounden family's Bayview residence. He confronted Wilfinger who was in his bed, wearing only dark underwear and white sox, with his wife, who partially covered herself in a blanket when he stormed into the bedroom. His young son was lying on his wife's left side, the video recording shows. "I asked her what he was doing with my wife," Gounden says. "He appeared to be drunk or high."

Gounden's wife was instructed by Wilfinger to dial 911. "I didn't know what to do," Gounden says. "Here is an officer sleeping with my wife and nothing I can do about it. I knew the cops from the 106 would arrest me instead so I left."

Gounden says he was also alarmed by what his 11-year-old son told him later. "My son said when he asked Wilfinger why he carried a gun, he told him 'For crazy ex-husbands.' That's how he talks to my children about their father. I'm not an ex-husband. I still love my wife," he says.

Gounden says he's gone out of his way to try and keep his family together for the sake of the children. On December 10, 2016, after he'd spent the night with his wife, in another attempt to reconcile, he was arrested outside the home. "When I asked why I was being arrested I was told I had been driving with a suspended license and failure to signal. In fact, I had not been inside a car," he says. "When I was taken to the 106, an officer named Daniel Ryan told me 'You've pissed off a lot of people with your lawsuit."

Gounden and his wife first met in 1986 and dated while in high school. They later got back together in 2003 and were married in 2004.

The false rape charge stems from a December 18, 2016 argument with his stepdaughter --his wife's daughter-- who's 22, Gounden says. His 11-year old son and 10-year-old daughter share a bunk-bed. Sometimes the stepdaughter would come over with her boyfriend while both were intoxicated and force the daughter and son to share the upper bunk, and then have sex in the lower bed. "So I went to confront her about this," he says.

"She too has been instructed by Wilfinger to call the police whenever I show up." He said his mother-in-law was at home at the time and witnessed the argument. Later, when his wife arrived, the police were called. Gounden was arrested and subsequently charged with attempted rape, he says.

Gounden says he had recorded his entire confrontation with the stepdaughter. "This rape thing was made up at the 106 precinct and [she] was coerced." (Gounden obtained a signed affidavit from both his mother in law and his wife on September 14 stating there was no rape attempt).

The second encounter with Wilfinger was on New Year's Day, January 1, 2017, Gounden says. His three children had spent New Year's Eve with him and his mother at his grandmother's place. When he returned them to Howard Beach the next day, he once again found Wilfinger in bed with his wife, he says.

"I again confronted him and recorded it. I asked him why he was having sex with my wife knowing we are still married," Gounden says. "As I was recording him he reached for his gun and I ran out. I thought he was going to shoot me in the back."

Gounden says the camera didn't catch the gun because he fled once he saw it. He says his wife called 911 and he received a text message from an officer named Valerie Cincinelli. He was asked to report to the 106 precinct. "I told her officer Wilfinger had pulled a gun on me and I asked that they come and arrest him. She told me they knew nothing about Wilfinger and wanted me to report there. They wanted to arrest me instead. I didn't go."

On January 24, 2017 Gounden had a court date on the rape allegation. "As soon as that case was adjourned, while I was still in the courtroom, I was aggressively arrested by three officers from the 106, including Cincinelli," he says. "I asked them why I was being arrested and she said 'You should have come when we texted you to come in."

Gounden claims the 106 precinct has turned his life into a nightmare since the racial attack against his family by the neighbor a decade ago. "I want all the arrests against me by the 106 investigated. Someone with power is using this precinct like a personal militia to destroy me and my family," Gounden says.

After the Gounden family reported the racist attack when it first moved to Howard Beach, The Daily News ran an article under the headline "Family haunted by hate in Queens" on August 24, 2007.  "Deep in Howard Beach, Queens, Kris Gounden has built up a beautiful home on a sprawling waterfront property where he lives with his wife and his four children. But Gounden is of Guyanese descent, and some of his white neighbors have undertaken a harassment campaign to run him out of the neighborhood, which became infamous for racism in the 1980s."

The article continued: "Now there is a constant police presence outside his home in Hamilton Beach and a neighbor has been busted on felony hate-crime charges. Since he moved from Ozone Park in July last year, Gounden said he has put up with his next-door neighbors and their pals blocking his driveway, dumping garbage and urinating on his property - and logging daily complaints against him with city agencies."

The Daily News also quoted a police source saying: "It's something out of the Deep South, or the backwoods, circa 1950."

The complaints to city and state agencies took its toll. Over the years, based on anonymous calls, in addition to officers from the 106 precinct, Gounden says his home has also been raided by inspectors, or armed enforcement agents, from: the Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P.); the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.); the Department of Buildings (D.O.B); the Department of Environmental Conservation (D.E.C.); the Department of Sanitation (D.S.N.Y.); the New York Fire Department (FDNY); Administration for Child Services (ACS); and, the U.S. Coast Guard.

"In one incident 13 Sanitation officers in nine city vehicles raided my compound and said they were responding to complaints from neighbors about illegal dumping of garbage," Gounden says. "I have the video recording with their badges and car ID numbers."

At the time of the 2007 racial attack, Gounden also had a run-in with then New York City Councilmember, Joseph Addabbo Jr., now a State Senator. At the time Addabbo was quoted in media as having said it was Gounden who had actually played the race card.

However, Addabbo told The Daily News in another article that he reached out to help Gounden: "I worked and tried my best to help Mr. Gounden...I went to his house, and said, 'Let's try and work this out with the neighbors.'"

Gounden said Addabbo and the Queens Borough engineer, Thomas Campagna, also later prevented him from erecting a fence around his property claiming the city had an easement that a road was running through his compound. "The city has no such easement," Gounden says. (The lawsuit against Pascale is related to that matter).

"After hurricane Sandy, Addabo's office also made sure that I did not get any relief money," Gounden says. "I filled out an application form at least 10 times and on every occasion, it would disappear."

However, the visits that had the most devastating impact on his family were the ones from NYCHPD, Gounden says. These resulted in what he calls "tickets for bogus violations" related to conditions in his buildings and apartment units. They led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. "Eventually the City started withholding rent payments for section 8 tenants and other housing programs," he says.  As a result Gounden couldn't maintain his apartment units or make mortgage payments on the buildings and  even on his private property.

The Black Star News has previously reported on some of these cases.

By 2014, his business had been destroyed and Gounden lost two buildings worth about $3 million, he says. "We used to make about $27,000 a month from city contracts for housing and about half went to paying bills. All that is gone. All I have are these court battles."

On January 15, 2014 The Daily News published an article under the headline "Brooklyn slumlord, who blocks boiler from being repaired, slapped with jail, $382G in fines."

"The Daily News never reported my side of the story," Gounden says. "The News never reported that the City had illegally stopped rental payments and that I was owed more than $600,000 at the time and probably more than $1.2 million in back rent by now. I have the documentation."

Since he was prevented from fencing his property, Gounden sometimes parks his vehicles to prevent people from driving through his compound. On March 29, 2016 when returned home, his SUV was missing. He dialed 911 to report a theft. Instead, officers from the 106 precinct came and assaulted him then arrested him, Gounden says. "I was beaten up by sergeant Ryan Kenny from the 106. I was handcuffed. He grabbed me by the hand and yanked my shoulder. He then lifted me up by the cuffs and punched me repeatedly in the face. He also kicked me in my rear several times. Up to now I feel pain in my tailbone," he says.

As a result of the assault, which dislocated his left shoulder Gounden says he ended up losing two teeth. Charges connected to that arrest were also later dropped.

Even though the trial on the rape-related charges has been adjourned, Gounden has another court date in Queens Criminal Court on September 27.
In 2012 after hurricane Sandy, D.E.C. armed enforcement agents came to Gounden's property and charged him with illegal construction, he says. "I was simply doing repair work after the storm. That case was eventually dismissed as well my legal aid lawyer at the time told me," Gounden says.

"But now after the D.A. asked the judge to adjourn the rape case last week, this case suddenly pops up again. I've been told it's on the calendar."

"All these things are happening to me because I didn't run away. I decided to stand up for the right to live wherever I wanted," he says.

 

 

Mallimadi@gmail.com

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