Rape is such a heavy crime and people expect rapists to spend a long time in jail as a punishment of their sins. If you put yourself in the victims’ shoes, what would you feel if the suspects are able to skip jail time despite the evidence against them?
Two police officers raped a handcuffed teenage girl but the statement issued by the State Supreme Court judge caused outrage after these two officers escaped jail time. According to the judge, there was no strong evidence to prove a case of rape against these officers.
“We could not apply the new law retroactively, and serious credibility issues, in this case, precluded us from proceeding on additional charges, yet we remained committed to holding these defendants accountable.”
Eddie Martines (39) and Richard Hall (34) were assigned as plainclothes detectives during a buy and bust operation in 2017. Without authorization, they moved from their posts. These detectives were from the New York Police Department. In order to avoid jail time, reports reveal that the offers took turns in raping an 18-year-old girl while she was arrested then handcuffed by them.
Anna Chambers was the victim who chose to come out and called the judgment “a joke.”
What made it all worse is that Martins and Hall pleaded guilty to the bribe-taking and also for the official misconduct for having sex in a police van with Chambers. But many believe that the punishment was not enough. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement that what the prosecution team initially wanted was a minimum sentence of at least one to three years behind bars.
But in court, State Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun explained that the crime could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. He said, “The credibility of the victim, or the complainant, in this case, was seriously, seriously questionable, at best.” But he admitted that the scientific evidence for the case was “very compelling” but the jury could not convict only for the charges of a misdemeanor.
Michael N David, the victim’s attorney, said that the sentence only sent a bad message to victims when it comes to police violence and for him, that was unacceptable. He explained, “We’re outraged. It’s a complete injustice that happened today. You can’t consent when you’re five foot three, 100 pounds and they’re both over 6 feet and very muscular. They had her in handcuffs. These cops got a free pass.”
According to Hall and Martins’ lawyers, they have dismissed the charges as false.
These two cops arrested Chambers in September 2017. The victim was with two other male friends in a car when she was arrested. She was caught after she admitted to having marijuana and Klonopin pill on her. That time, the cops were not even supposed to be in the area where they caught Chambers since they were assigned to the Brooklyn South Narcotics squad. They were in Coney Island and they bribed Chambers in exchange for her freedom. These two officers were assigned as plainclothes detectives as part of the buy and bust operation.
Both of them voluntarily resigned from NYPD in November 2017. Originally, these two were arraigned on 50 counts and this included first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, and second-degree kidnapping. They also pleaded guilty to all counts.
Later on, Martins was released on a $250,000 bail while Hall was released on a $150,000 bail.