DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- Two former NYPD officers no longer face forcible rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping charges after they were accused of raping a teenager inside of a police van.
Ex-cops Richard Hall and Eddie Martins were originally arraigned on a 50-count indictment after an 18-year-old woman said she was handcuffed and assaulted when they stopped her for a marijuana violation in September 2017. They quit the force two months later.
But on Wednesday, Hall and Martins were handed new indictments that include lesser charges of bribery and official misconduct.
Although prosecutors said DNA recovered from the accuser's body indicated that the officers had sex with her, the Brooklyn District Attorney dropped the assault charges because the victim was determined not to be credible.
According to a law enforcement source, the accuser's story had several inconsistencies, including what she was wearing at the time of the alleged attack and even the neighborhood where the attack took place, and prosecutors chose not to move forward with the more serious charges.
Prosecutors believe they can prove that the officers had sex with her because of the lab results. The accuser was also not charged with a crime, which could be used as evidence that the officers had accepted a bribe.
"We are fully committed to holding these defendants accountable by vigorously pursuing the charges in this case that can be proven with independent and reliable evidence. We believe -- as the newly-created statute recognizes -- that any sexual conduct between police officers and a person in their custody should constitute a crime. However, that was not the law at the time of the incident. Because of this and because of unforeseen and serious credibility issues that arose over the past year and our ethical obligations under the rules of professional conduct, we are precluded from proceeding with the rape charges," said a spokesperson for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.
It appears the accuser did not testify before a new grand jury, as she did when a previous grand jury heard evidence in the September 15, 2017 incident.
The accuser and her attorney spoke with reporters outside the courtroom after her January 2018 court appearance.
The two officers have said they should not have been charged with rape in the first place and this new action "speaks volumes about this flawed prosecution."