DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- Two former NYPD officers were sentenced Thursday to five years probation for bribe receiving and official misconduct for having sex inside a police van with a young woman they had arrested before releasing her without authorization and without reporting the arrest.
While prosecutors requested incarceration, Eddie Martins and Richard Hall were promised probation in exchange for pleading guilty in August.
Both spoke before being sentenced and apologized to their families. Martin, a former Marine, thanked his family and friends but said he had failed as a husband. Hall apologized to his wife and children but said he believes the victim should be charged and chastised her.
"I did not rape or perform any forcible sex act," he said. "You're a liar. You created this circus so you could sue us for $50 million...you should've been arrested for perjury...you're a disgrace to the #MeToo movement."
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez reiterated that he would have preferred a prison sentence in the case but said the matter is settled.
"These defendants lost their jobs and are now convicted felons because of the appalling abuse of power to which they admitted," District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. "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. Unfortunately, we could not apply that new law retroactively. While my office recommended prison time, we accept the court's sentence."
The 39-year-old Martins and 34-year-old Hall were formerly assigned to the NYPD's Brooklyn South Narcotics, and according to the investigation, on September 15, 2017, at approximately 7:30 p.m., the defendants, who were on-duty and riding in a Dodge Caravan working as part of a team of plainclothes detectives conducting a buy-and-bust operation, left their post without authorization and drove to Calvert Vaux Park in Gravesend, Brooklyn.
Just after 8 p.m., the officers conducted a car stop of an Infinity Coupe driven by an 18-year-old woman with two male passengers and found a quantity of marijuana in the front seat cup holder.
The officers instructed the three occupants to step out of the car and asked if they had any drugs on them, according to the investigation. The young woman responded she had marijuana and two Klonopin pills. The detectives handcuffed the woman, told her she was under arrest and would be getting a desk appearance ticket.
They let her companions go, the evidence showed.
After leaving the park, while inside the police van, the woman had sexual intercourse with Martins and performed a sex act on Hall, according to the evidence.
The defendants then drove back to the vicinity of the 60th Precinct in Coney Island and released the woman, giving her back the Klonopin pills. They did not report the incident to their supervisor or to anyone else and had no authority to rescind the arrest or to release the detainee, according to the indictment.
DNA recovered from the woman was a match to both of the defendants. Video surveillance shows the woman exiting the police van at approximately 8:42 p.m., the investigation found.
Previous charges of rape were dropped against the officers in March after a judge ruled her story was too inconsistent, but her attorney stands by her claims.
"This is outrageous that they can rape my client and not serve any jail time," attorney Michael David said. "It was cut and dry. There was absolutely no evidence, credible evidence, against her as to the rape. None. All the evidence shows to the rape. We have DNA evidence. They pled guilty to bribery, which means that they engaged in sexual activity."
Martins and Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree bribe receiving and nine counts of official misconduct.
"The judge acknowledged that the witness had no credibility," Martins' attorney, Mark Bederrow, said. "We've said that she has no credibility, and the district attorney has acknowledged that she has no credibility."
The victim has filed a civil case for $50 million against the former officers, the NYPD and the city.
"Unfortunately this is all about blaming the victim," he said. "That's what happened here. They shamed her. They smeared her."
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Ex-NYPD cops get probation for on-duty sex with teen in Brooklyn