Two New York Police Department detectives took turns raping a handcuffed 18-year-old woman in the back seat of their police van in Coney Island last month, according to the Kings County District Attorney's office.
Eddie Martins, 37, and Richard Hall, 33, of the Brooklyn South Narcotics unit, were arraigned Monday on a total of 50 charges, including first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act and second-degree kidnapping, the district attorney's office said.
Both detectives pleaded not guilty to all counts, according to the district attorney's office. Martins was released on $250,000 bail and Hall was released on $150,000 bail. Each could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. They are currently suspended without pay, the NYPD said.
The allegations represent a "flagrant betrayal of public trust," according to Eric Gonzalez, the acting district attorney for Kings County.
"It is incomprehensible that two veteran NYPD detectives would allegedly commit such an outrageous act. They took an oath to protect and serve, but allegedly violated that oath by raping a young woman who was in their custody," he said. "We will now seek to hold them accountable for this flagrant betrayal of public trust."
Michael David, the victim's attorney, said the fact that it took six weeks to charge these officers was "outrageous," and he criticized the relatively low bail for what he said was a brutal rape and kidnapping case.
Since the incident, the victim has been depressed and an "emotional wreck," David said. She graduated high school and had planned to attend college -- but those plans are now on hold, he said.
September 15 incident
Prosecutors with the district attorney's office described a gross misuse of police power and sexual misconduct in the case. The incident allegedly occurred on the evening of September 15 when Martins and Hall, plainclothes detectives, left their post without authorization and drove to Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn, the district attorney's office said.
There, the officers stopped a car driven by an 18-year-old woman with two male passengers. The detectives made her remove her bra and expose herself to prove she wasn't hiding anything, David said.
They arrested and handcuffed the woman on drug charges, and told the male passengers to leave and pick up the young woman later, the district attorney's office said.
Detective Martins allegedly told her that he and Hall are "freaks" and asked her what she wanted to do to get out of the arrest, the district attorney's office said. Martins allegedly then raped the handcuffed woman in the backseat as Hall drove and watched in the rear-view mirror.
The detectives then allegedly stopped the van in Bay Ridge, about four miles from the park. After they switched places in the van, Hall forced the woman to perform a sex act on him, according to prosecutors. Later the officers drove back to the 60th precinct and dropped off the woman, telling her to keep her mouth shut, the district attorney's office said.
The young woman went to Maimonides Medical Center and underwent a sexual assault exam, prosecutors said. DNA found on the woman matched both of the detectives, while video surveillance showed her leaving the police van at about 8:42 p.m. that evening, according to prosecutors.
Mark Bederow, an attorney for Martins, said in a statement that the detective is "entitled to the same presumption of innocence as anyone else."
"Being a police officer doesn't change his right to due process. We unequivocally deny the allegation that he forcibly attacked the young woman," Bederow said. "We don't believe that the credible evidence will support the claim that any rape or sexual assault occurred."
An attorney for Hall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
www.primenewsghana.com/ Ghana News