Two former NYPD detectives who were accused of raping an 18-year-old girl in custody on a marijuana possession charge have reached a plea deal that will ensure they don’t have to serve any jail time.
Eddie Martins and Richard Hall were accused of raping the Brooklyn woman in the back of a police van after they arrested her for marijuana possession in 2017. The woman claimed that they repeatedly sexually assaulted her in the back of a police van while she was in handcuffs. In their defense, the officers claimed that the sex was consensual, though they resigned from the department shortly after they were accused.
At the time the woman accused the officers of assault, there was no law prohibiting officers from having sex with someone in custody, though the law did prohibit corrections officers and parole officers from doing so. Last year, the state legislature voted to pass a law classifying a police officer having sex with someone in custody as rape in the third degree, a law that came about in large part as a result of the Brooklyn case.
Although Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez wanted the two to serve jail time, a judge agreed to the plea deal, which requires them to receive five years probation.
“These defendants engaged in a shocking abuse of power which they finally acknowledged,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “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.”
Initially, Martins and Hall were charged with rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping. In March, however, those charges were reduced to official misconduct and accepting a bribe, due to what Gonzalez said were inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony.
In response to Martins’ and Hall’s plea bargain, the lawyer for the victim, Michael David, said it was “outrageous,” and that he planned to advocate for a civil rights investigation into the case.
“It’s sending the worst message to victims of police sexual misconduct in America, that police could kidnap someone, rape her, and throw her on the street, and get away with it,” he told Politico.