Two disgraced former narcotics detectives were slapped with five years’ probation after trading freedom for sex with an 18-year-old suspect in Gravesend.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun sentenced the defendants, Eddie Martins, 39, and Richard Hall, 34, on Friday, following their guilty plea in August to two counts of third-degree bribe receiving and nine counts of official misconduct, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Martins and Hall were members of the Police Department’s Brooklyn South Narcotics team when they cuffed the teenage victim in Gravesend in September 2017, claiming they spotted marijuana and two prescription pills in her car. The detectives then offered to release the woman in exchange for sexual favors, which they accepted in the back of their police van parked in Calvert Vaux Park, according to the DA’s office.
The victim — who goes by the pseudonym Anna Chambers — accused the detectives of rape, but the district attorney dropped the rape changes the following March, citing “serious credibility issues,” and claiming that Chambers’ testimony contained a “series of false, misleading, and inconsistent statements about the facts of the case,” said Oren Yaniv, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.
Investigators matched DNA recovered from the victim’s body to both Martins and Hall, and nearby video surveillance shows the woman exiting the police van about 40 minutes after her arrest, prosecutors claim.
Chambers’ attorney slammed the DA for dropping the rape charges, arguing that the accusations against Chambers were part of a smear campaign against his client, and that the hard evidence of the case spoke for itself, Gothamist reported.
“If you’re arrested and kidnapped in a van with two large officers with guns, there’s no consent. They’re getting away with rape,” said Michael David. “It sends a horrible message to victims of police sexual misconduct.”
With the most serious charge dismissed, Martins and Hall plead guilty to all remaining charges in the indictment, allowing them to accept a plea deal offered by the court — without prosecutors’ consent, according to Gonzalez.
Following the high-profile sex crime in 2017, New York State passed a law forbidding police officers from having sex with people in their custody. Gonzalez — who had advocated for three years’ prison time — lamented that the law could not be applied retroactively, and that, as a result, the defendants won’t serve prison time.
“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,” he said on Friday. “Unfortunately, we could not apply that new law retroactively. While my Office recommended prison time, we accept the Court’s sentence.”