Two NYPD officers are named in a 50-count indictment charging them with allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman in a police van in Coney Island after handcuffing her and placing her under arrest earlier this year.
Detectives Eddie Martins, 37, and Richard Hall, 32, who were assigned to NYPD Brooklyn South Narcotics surrendered Monday to face charges including first-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping, official misconduct and other counts. Both were released on $250,000 and $150,000 bail, respectively, put up by high-profile bail bondsman Ira Judelson, after their arraignments Monday. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Their attorneys have vowed to fight the charges.
"We don't believe they have the evidence to support the majority of charges that are alleged," said Mark Bederow, attorney for Martins.
Meanwhile, the attorney for the alleged victim said she's frustrated the officers have been released.
"She's not happy they're free," said Michael David. "They got very low bail. Anybody else, high bail or no bail."
"She's an emotional wreck at this point," said David.
NBC 4 New York first reported on the looming indictment late last week.
According to the indictment, the detectives were on duty and riding in a Dodge Caravan on Sept. 15, working as part of a team of plainclothes cops assigned to the narcotics unit and conducting a buy-and-bust operation in the 60th Precinct. They left their post without authorization and drove to Calvert Vaux Park in Gravesend, according to the indictment.
Shortly after 8 p.m., the officers stopped an Infinity Couple driven by an 18-year-old woman. Two male passengers were in the vehicle and there was marijuana in the front seat cup holder, court documents say. The officers told the trio to get out of the vehicle and asked if they had drugs. According to court documents, the woman said she had pot and two Klonopin pills, at which point the cops cuffed her, told her she was under arrest and said she would be issued a desk appearance ticket. They let the men go and told them to come get their friend from the precinct in three hours, prosecutors said.
The cops and woman left the park, and then the detectives allegedly told the young woman to call her friends and tell them not to follow their van. Martins allegedly told her he and his partner were "freaks" and asked what she wanted to do to get out of the arrest, according to court documents. Prosecutors allege Martins then forced the handcuffed woman to perform a sex act on him as Hall drove the van and watched through the rear view mirror.
Martins then allegedly raped the young woman, prosecutors say. Later, the officers allegedly pulled over and switched places, then Hall allegedly forced the woman to perform a sex act on him. According to court documents, the officers drove back to the 60th Precinct, told the victims to call her friends to come get her, then allegedly gave her back her Klonopin pills, told her to keep her mouth shut and released her.
Prosecutors say the woman told her friends she had been attacked and was later taken to a hospital, where a rape kit was conducted. Prosecutors say DNA recovered from the woman was a match to both detectives.
"These alleged acts are despicable. They have no place in our law enforcement community," said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said his office is "making sure the officers are held truly accountable for conduct that boggles the mind."
The defense attorneys for the detectives argue the victim's story lacks credibility, that she may have a financial motive and that the charges contradict themselves.
"What that suggests to me is that the district attorney, after a six-week investigation, also has their own doubts of the credibility of the tale that's been put forth," said Bederow.
Gonzalez said, "They're grown men in a position of power over an 18-year-old girl. For them to go ahead and blame her is ridiculous."
Bederow said the officers aren't denying they had sex with the teen but are adamant it wasn't rape.
"The DNA evidence they cited does not establish a forcible compulsion angle of the case. End of story," he said.
Councilman Mark Treyger says whatever happened in the van should be illegal, and that a person in police custody cannot give consent. While state law makes it illegal for parole and correction officers to have sex with prisoners, Treyger is now drawing up a bill that would do the same for local police.
"There is no such thing as consensual sex when someone else is in police custody. That is rape," said Treyger.
An NYPD spokesman said both Martins and Hall have been suspended without pay.
Sarah Wallace contributed to this story.