This year, like many years before, has been so full of news about rape, misogyny, and “sexual misconduct.” It’s overwhelming sometimes — but the duty to protect victims of sexual assault never goes away. In September, an 18-year-old woman came forward to say, through her lawyer, that two NYPD detectives, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, raped her after handcuffing her. The New York Times reports that her lawyer said that the detectives approached her while she was hanging out with two friends in their car and ordered her to lift up her shirt to prove she wasn't hiding drugs; then ordered her out of the car, placed her in handcuffs, and took her to the detectives' van, telling her they were taking her to the closest precinct. The lawyer says that instead of taking her to the precinct, they took her to a Chipotle parking lot and raped her while she was in handcuffs.
The girl says, again through her lawyer, that after the assault, the officers kicked her out of the van and drove off. She says she told her mother what happened and immediately went to a local hospital.
From there, this horrific story just gets worse.
As reported by the New York Post last week, the girl's lawyer says that about nine police officers showed up to the hospital where she was seeking treatment to convince the girl and her mother that they should not get a rape kit or file a report, and that they harassed the girl to the point of telling her she didn’t even know what she remembered or what she was talking about. The teen has been adamant from the beginning that she knows exactly what happened, who did it, and that she deserves justice.
“They came with nine cops to intimidate her and her mom, to discourage them from coming forward and reporting the rape and sex assault,” the lawyer told the New York Post. He adds that a particularly aggressive officer, who according to the lawyer "nearly chased the mom into the women’s bathroom," hid his name on his badge so the girl couldn't identify him.
Of course, the punches just keep coming, and in a letter to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the lawyers of the accused officers claimed the girl isn’t depressed enough and that her "provocative selfies" mean she can't actually be the victim of such a crime. They say her $50 million claim against the city is a publicity stunt, a complete fabrication, and that the sexual acts that occurred were consensual. The New York Post reports the Brooklyn DA’s Office responded to inquiry about the letter by stating: “Without commenting on this ongoing investigation, defense counsel’s characterization of how a rape victim should behave is inaccurate, inappropriate and demeaning.” Her lawyer added, "This is her way of trying to cope. People have different methods of coping. She’s been helpless until now. So it doesn’t matter what this teenager says on social media. It can never take away from what these monsters did to her.”
Hall, 33, and Martins, 37, pleaded not guilty last month to a 50-count indictment, maintaining that the sex was consensual. They resigned from the NYPD in November. They are currently free on bail.
Surprisingly, in the worst possible way, it is not illegal for police officers to have sex with someone while on duty...until that person is inside a physical cell, where rules and social mores matter apparently. Most assume this was already a law, but instead it was merely a loosely enforced policy of precincts. Since hearing about this horrific case, New York City Councilman Mark Treyger is spearheading a bill to make it illegal for officers to have sex with anyone in custody.
The girl's case against the city is expected to go to court on December 8 of this year. Hopefully, the justice system brings this young woman and her family the justice and dignity they deserve.
Photo via Flickr/Andrew Dallos
More from BUST
big haired nerd who likes to talk about books, politics, coffee and anything else you can think of. Be warned of shennanigans: follow me on twitter @BRIawesome