Photographic evidence of NYPD sexual assault gone missing
A Brooklyn judge ordered prosecutors to find the photographs that a teenager took of injuries to her wrist after two police officers sexually assaulted her.
In September 2017, an 18-year-old girl reported that she was handcuffed for allegations of drug possession by NYPD Officers Richard Hall and Eddie Martins, who then took turns raping her in the back of their van as they drove through Bay Ridge and Coney Island.
After Hall, a married father of two, and Martins were indicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court, the teen — known under the pseudonym Anna Chambers — filed a $50 million federal civil lawsuit against the city and NYPD.
During sworn testimony in hearings related to the civil case, Chambers testified under oath that her wrist were “damaged” and “bloody” after the Sept. 15, 2017 attack and had been photographed on her cellphone by her mother, said Michael Bibb, an attorney for Martins, in court on Monday.
Martins’ attorneys, Bibb and Mark Bederow, as well as Hall’s attorney Peter Guadagnino ordered subpoenas of Chambers’ cellphone to no avail.
As jury selection is expected to begin on Jan. 22, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun ordered the prosecutors to find the photographs and to turn them over immediately to the defense.
“We have made efforts to see if this evidence exists and haven’t [found the evidence],” Assistant District Attorney Frank DeGaetano said to the judge on Monday.
Justice Chun then suggested three possible scenarios as to the fate of the photographs.
“The photographs weren’t taken, or they were taken and not disclosed, or they were taken and don’t exist anymore. I suppose you have a corroborating witness to know what happened,” the judge said to the prosecutors before ordering them to investigate and advise the defense to put their request in writing.
Chambers’ attorney Michael David said to reporters outside of court after the brief court appearance that his client searched for the photographs and couldn’t find them.
Justice Chun also requested that the attorneys give him a heads up if he will preside over the case without a jury or if he should order a “large jury panel” to choose 12 Brooklynites and an unknown number of alternates.
Hall, 34, and Martins, 38, who were excused from appearing in court on Monday, face up to 25 years in prison for the top charge of forcible rape.
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