Two former New York City police officers have admitted to accepting a bribe from a teenage suspect and then to taking turns having sex with her in the back of a police van two years ago.
Eddie Martins, 39, and Richard Hall, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of third-degree felony bribe-receiving and nine counts of misdemeanor official misconduct during in Brooklyn Supreme Court, ABC News reports.
The suspect was an 18-year-old they had arrested for suspected marijuana possession in the fall of 2017.
Judge Danny Chun said he’ll sentence the men in October to five years of probation. Prosecutors had wanted them jailed for at least a year.
“These defendants engaged in a shocking abuse of power which they finally acknowledged,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “While I would have preferred to see them serve prison time, they are no longer members of our police department and with (their) pleas are convicted felons.”
The Brooklyn district attorney’s office had dropped kidnapping and rape charges against Martins and Hall in March, citing “serious credibility issues.”
Chun said that “the credibility of the victim, or the complainant, in this case was seriously, seriously questionable, at best” and hinted that she may face “potential perjury charges,” ABC News reports.
The case spurred legislation to close what some called a police sex loophole. While New York law already bars sex between prison guards and inmates, it didn’t apply to officers and those in their custody. The loophole has since been closed.
The victim was driving with two friends near Coney Island when the two plainclothes detectives pulled her over and found marijuana. They later claimed they accepted a bribe from her and took turns having sex with her in exchange for letting her go and for not reporting her arrest to their supervisors. After they released her, the woman went to the hospital, where prosecutors say DNA was obtained that matched both men. The officers, who resigned after the allegations broke, pleaded not guilty and claimed the sex was consensual.
“This case was botched from day one,” Martins’ lawyer, Mark Bederow, told the New York Post. “They never should have allowed these men to be smeared as rapists and whatnot.”
Both officers resigned after they were indicted in 2017.
Sentencing is set for Oct. 10.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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