DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The ex-cops 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 cops insist that the September 2017 encounter was consensual, but the teen, Anna Chambers, and her attorney, call it rape. Recent legislation supports her assessment. It was passed because of her situation, to help prevent cases like hers.
The ex-cops, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, entered the courtroom around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, followed momentarily by Chambers, for a hearing.
“Being here, seeing them is disgusting,” Chambers told PIX11 News.
The hearing had been called because a judge who’d been asked by both 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 two 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.
Ex-cops Martins and Hall insist that the sexual encounter was consensual. In the courtroom on Thursday, 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-cops’ argument that since 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 bullish**,” 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’s in law enforcement custody is capable of consensual sex.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Chambers, “that I have to get raped” in order for such a measure to pass.
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’s 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 Thursday.
Her attorney said that her client’s efforts are not in vain.
“She’s going to continue speaking out,” said her lawyer Michael David. “They’re trying to silence her. That’s what is going on.”
For their part, prosecutors from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office issued a statement through a spokesperson: “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 next hearing in the case is on March 6. The judge is expected to rule then whether to dismiss the case, or proceed to trial.