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A far-left candidate for Bronx District Attorney trumpets her history of representing sexual-assault victims on her campaign website, but fails to mention her day job — getting sexual predators’ sentences reduced or thrown out.
Tess Cohen, a former prosecutor in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, has touted her work as a staunch champion of sexual assault victims, detailing her efforts to “support and amplify the voices of victims who are often ignored or further traumatized by the criminal legal system.”
The Grinnell College and Columbia Law School grad, however, left out of her biography that she started as an “of counsel” attorney in January 2021 at New York City-based ZMO Law, which has a “focus on clients accused of child pornography [and] other sex crimes . . . as well as serious state offenses like sexual assault,” according to the firm’s website.
Among ZMO’s clients who Cohen has repped is Darnell Feagins, whose criminal record includes molesting a 12-year-old when he was 24, for which he pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Supreme Court in 2012, according to court documents.
Eight years later Feagins was arrested in the Bronx and indicted in Manhattan Federal Court for possessing phones that had contained more than 1200 pornographic images and videos depicting children. He pled guilty in December to possession of child pornography, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15, just two days before early voting begins in the primary elections.
Stephen Jimenez, an advocate for victims of child sex abuse, who was repeatedly assaulted by a pedophile in the Bronx, ripped Cohen for her decision to obscure her current gig with ZMO.
“The last thing I want as a survivor of child sex abuse [is] an attorney or public servant or a DA putting misleading information out there about who she’s representing and why,” Jimenez said.
He added that Cohen “mentions she defends people that are wrongfully convicted, but in this instance, one of her clients is someone who was convicted of one of the worst crimes.”
Cohen told The Post that she is “proud” to represent all of her clients when they get their day in court.
“Some of my clients are falsely accused, some are guilty, some are victims of sexual assault themselves, but all receive the opportunity for a fair trial when I am their attorney,” she said.
Cohen’s boss, ZMO founder Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, also has railed over the years against the Empire State for being too tough on sex offenders.
In one of his many blog posts penned on the firm’s website, Margulis-Ohnuma decried the “scarlet letter of sex offender registration,” claiming in many cases it had “no identifiable benefit to public safety.”
Last year, in a piece ahead of the 2022 legislative session in Albany, the firm’s head mused how there had been “a quiet struggle in New York State to ease the irrational burdens on people convicted of sex offenses.”
Margulis-Ohnuma told The Post that in many American jurisdictions, punishments for people convicted of sex crimes “are overly punitive and are not rationally based on the specific harms by sex offenses.”
Since June 2022, Cohen has raised over $127,00 in campaign funding, with at least five contributions coming from ZMO staff, totaling $1,150, according to the state Board of Elections.
Incumbent Darcel Clark has racked up at least $322,000 since she was re-elected to office in November 2019.
Margulis-Ohnuma said he contributed to his colleague’s campaign because “she understands the built in inequities of the criminal justice system in ways that the current DA doesn’t understand.”
She has also promised to shut down Rikers Island and “release as many people as possible” from its jails.
A campaign representative for Clark declined to comment.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan.