Two city police detectives accused of raping an 18-year-old woman in Coney Island in the back of an undercover minivan in September were arraigned on a 50-count indictment on Oct. 30 in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Detectives Richard Hall and Eddie Martins, both pled “not guilty” to charges including rape and kidnapping, among others, and were released on $150,000 and $250,000 bail, respectively — leaving the victim disappointed, according to her lawyer.
“She’s not going to be happy until they’re convicted and in jail,” said attorney Michael David. “And she’s not happy that they were charged on such little bail.”
The alleged assault occurred a month and a half ago, according to David, when the woman was driving a car with two friends on a dirt path in Calvert Vaux Park in Gravesend at around 8 pm on Sept. 15, and the two detectives — working as part of the Brooklyn South Narcotics unit — allegedly pulled her over and search the car.
The detectives allegedly found small amounts of an anti-depressant, marijuana, and prescription pills, and then arrested the woman but released her friends, telling them that they would bring her to the nearby 60th Precinct, according to David, but instead, the detectives allegedly brought the woman to a nearby Chipotle parking lot on Cropsey Avenue, between Bay 52nd and 53rd streets, never phoning in the arrest to the precinct.
The detectives took turns forcing the woman to give them oral sex in the back of the van, and Martins allegedly raped her, David said. They allegedly told the woman they would follow through on her arrest if she did not comply with their demands, but would release her with a lesser penalty if she complied.
“They said something to the effect of, ‘you’re gonna get a desk appearance ticket, you’re gonna sit three hours in the precinct, but this is what you’re going to do for us,’ ” David said.
After the alleged assault, the detectives dropped the woman off at the Blink Fitness on W Eighth Street, between Surf and Neptune avenues, just down the road from the precinct, according to David. He said the gym has surveillance footage of the men dropping the woman off from the van and then speeding away.
The woman’s mother took her to the hospital that night, according to David, where doctors performed a rape kit — which according to the New York Post matched Hall and Martins’ genetic material — but the detectives claimed the sex acts were consensual, which the woman vehemently denies.
“You can’t have consent, once you’re arrested, there’s no such thing as consent,” said David, who pointed out that the woman remained handcuffed the entire time.
Nonetheless, it is not currently illegal for city police officers to have sex with people they have arrested — something Councilman Mark Treyger’s (D—Coney Island) plans to remedy with new legislation to outlaw even “consensual” sex with people in custody.
But David stressed that the city shouldn’t need a law like Treyger’s bill to convict the detectives who allegedly assaulted his client, since he contends consent was not a factor in the least.
“This [bill] does not apply to her situation,” he said of Treyger’s legislation. “This was pure rape.”
The two detectives and their supervisor had been placed on modified assignment status pending the results of the investigation, but on Oct. 3, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the detectives would “pay the price” if the allegations proved to be true.
The Detectives’ Endowment Association, which represents the city’s detectives, did not respond to a request for comment.
The 18-year-old woman plans to sue the city for $50 million, according to David, but he insists that the large damage amount is aimed at forcing the city to take the case seriously.
“This is not about the money, I can tell you right now,” said David. “We asked for $50 million because this was an horrific crime and she’s ruined for life. She was sexually assaulted, raped — it’s horrific what she went through.”
David said the egregious nature of the detectives’ alleged actions warrant aggressive prosecution.
“It was brazen what they did, it was very brazen, to kidnap somebody off the street,” he said. “At this point we’re just interested in justice.”