Ex-cops once accused of rape sentenced to 5 years probation
The two former Brooklyn-based police officers accused of raping a woman in the back of a van while on duty were sentenced to five years probation in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Thursday — ending a nearly two-year saga that sparked concerns over police misconduct involving individuals in custody.
Eddie Martins and Richard Hall appeared before Justice Danny Chun to receive their sentencing, which was part of a plea deal the duo struck last month in the alleged rape of an 18-year-old who uses the pseudonym Anna Chambers. The ex-cops were offered a deal of five years probation for pleading to reduced charges of receiving sexual favors as a bribe and official misconduct.
Chambers accused both the men of raping her in the back of their vehicle on Sept. 15, 2017, after they arrested her for carrying a small amount of marijuana. Hall and Martins both claimed the sex was consensual, but resigned from the NYPD in late 2017.
“These defendants lost their jobs and are now convicted felons because of the appalling abuse of power to which they admitted,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “This incident led to a change in New York law, closing a loophole that allowed officers to claim that sex with a detainee was consensual.”
Before reading the sentencing, Chun gave Hall and Martins an opportunity to address the court. Hall used the moment to lay into the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
“Eric Gonzalez, just as you were appalled at me and my behavior, I am seriously appalled by the horrifically low level of ethics by your office. The reason you charged bribe receiving in the first indictment is because you knew she wasn’t raped. You knew she wasn’t raped, but you charged us anyway. I’m here to look you in the face and tell everyone I did not rape or have forcible sex acts with [Chambers],” said Hall. “People just say we got off just because we are cops — what really got me was that people didn’t really believe she wasn’t a victim.”
Chambers, who did not appear in court, was represented by her lawyer Michael David, who called the sentencing a “very bad day for rape victims and police sexual misconduct.”
“Unfortunately this is all about blaming the victim. That’s what happened here. They shamed her. They smeared her. This was a rape, any way you look at it,” said David. “This sends a horrible message.”
David added that he is pursuing a civil case and has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit with the Southern District of New York for an alleged $50 million.
At the time of the incident, there was no law that prohibited cops from having sex with people who are in their custody. In 2018, New York passed a law that determined that people in custody cannot give consent.
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