NEW YORK -- Two ex-police officers accused of raping a teen asked a judge to dismiss the case against them Wednesday -- right in front of the alleged victim.
The two disgraced detectives insist the September 2017 encounter was consensual, but Anna Chambers and her attorney call it rape.
Recent legislation supports her assessment. It was passed to help prevent cases such as hers, according to WPIX.
The ex-officers, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, entered the courtroom, followed momentarily by Chambers, for a hearing.
“Being here, seeing them is disgusting,” Chambers said.
The hearing had been called because a judge who’d been asked by prosecutors and the officers’ attorneys to appoint a special prosecutor in the case had declined to do so.
So the trial judge, Justice Denny Chin, had to consider next steps in the case that resulted in the officers resigning their positions as NYPD detectives.
They’ve admitted to encountering Chambers in a drug bust in Brooklyn’s Calvert Vaux Park, then taking turns engaging in sex acts with her in their unmarked police van in a Chipotle restaurant parking lot.
Martins and Hall insist the sexual encounter was consensual. In the courtroom, in front of her, they and their attorneys asked for the case to be thrown out.
“[Prosecutors have] publicly acknowledged the witness has made false statements,” said one of the officers’ lawyers, Mark Bederow. “They cannot ethically proceed with calling her as a witness.”
The judge agreed to consider the ex-officers’ argument that because Chambers had apparently made conflicting statements to investigators in the past, the criminal case should be dismissed.
The former officers’ attorneys also said that prosecutors couldn’t produce a cellphone that Chambers had apparently claimed to have incriminating evidence.
“That’s (expletive)," Chambers said candidly at court.
She said that she’d “been raped and they’re trying to turn everything on me.”
The case involving Chambers -- which is an alias she uses to protect her identity -- prompted New York state senators to unanimously pass a bill that concludes that nobody who is in law enforcement custody is capable of consensual sex.
“It’s ridiculous that I have to get raped” in order for such a measure to pass, Chambers said.
It has not passed both houses of the legislature. Nationwide, 35 states do not have legal provisions making it illegal for law enforcement officers to have sex with someone in their custody.
Chambers’ attorney said that in the interest of seeing that change, and to get other women to come forward about sex abuse, she’s being public about what happened to her.
Chambers has acquired tens of thousands of supporters on social media and elsewhere online. Often, a couple dozen or so show up at court hearings in her case to show support, but there weren’t any on Wednesday.
Her attorney said her client’s efforts are not in vain.
“She’s going to continue speaking out,” her lawyer Michael David said. “They’re trying to silence her. That’s what is going on.”
“Our office will continue to evaluate how to carefully and ethically proceed in this case and we are committed to holding these defendants accountable," the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The next hearing is March 6. The judge is expected to rule then whether to dismiss the case, or proceed to trial.AlertMe