Two New York City cops avoided jail time and were placed on probation after pleading guilty to official misconduct and not the previous rape charge they faced after evidence showed they had sex with a handcuffed 18-year-old in the back of a police van.
Eddie Martins, 39 and 34-year-old Richard Hall were given a five-year-probation sentence. Both narcotics officers were in Brooklyn in September 2017 when they stopped the victim, who goes by the name Anna Chambers on social media, and her friends in a Calbert Vaux Park. The cops found marijuana and the prescription drug Klonopin in the victim’s friend’s car, and then arrested the teen and placed her in the back of a van.
The officers drove off and reportedly called the friends from a blocked number threatening them not to follow. The men took turns raping the teen orally and vaginally and instructed her to not tell anyone before being released. The cops never filed a police report. The victim went to a local hospital where tests confirmed the men had sex with the victim.
Prosecutors originally charged the men with rape, but those charges were reduced after the officers alleged the sex was consensual, a defense the victim’s attorney vehemently disagreed with.
“If you’re arrested and kidnapped in a van with two large officers with guns, there’s no consent. They’re getting away with rape,” Michael David said. “It sends a horrible message to victims of police sexual misconduct.”
The cops used a New York City law, which at the time, didn’t make it illegal for officers to engage in sexual activity with someone in custody. The BBC reports the law was changed due to this case.
Chambers was accused of lying about bits of her story and perjured herself when making statements to investigators.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez pushed for a stiffer sentence, a reported one to three years in prison, however, after the ruling Gonzalez rejoiced in the fact at least both men are no longer a member of the force.
“While I would have preferred to see them serve prison time, they are no longer members of our police department and with today’s plea are convicted felons,” Gonzalez said. “We could not apply the new law retroactively, and serious credibility issues in this case precluded us from proceeding on additional charges, yet we remained committed to holding these defendants accountable.”