Joele Frank Provides PR Counsel to Three Wrongfully Imprisoned Men
March 9, 2021 – Joele Frank provided PR counsel to the legal effort on behalf of George Bell, Rohan Bolt and Gary Johnson, who were incarcerated for over 24 years for a crime they did not commit. On March 5, 2021, The Hon. Judge Joseph A. Zayas of the Queens County Supreme Court ruled to vacate Bell, Bolt and Johnson’s convictions and all three men were released from prison.
Bell, Bolt and Johnson were convicted of the double homicide of two men in 1996. Bell and Johnson were just 19 and 22 years old at the time and Bolt, then a 35-year-old married father of four, owned a local Caribbean restaurant. No physical evidence ever connected any of the three men to the crime and all three men maintained their innocence. Evidence existed at the time of their arrest that pointed to other suspects, but prosecutors suppressed that evidence and withheld it from the defense teams and from the court.
The firm provided strategic PR counsel on this case on a pro bono basis, working in close collaboration with Bell, Bolt and Johnson’s legal counsel as they worked to bring justice to these innocent men. Firm Partners Joele Frank and Kelly Sullivan, Directors Jacob Silber, Melissa Johnson and Darcie Binder and Account Executives Joy Barnett, Paige MacPherson, Matt Cascio and Brennan O’Toole all contributed to the project.