NYPD Officers Plead Innocent In Baton Sodomy Of Pot Suspect

By dark12 · Dec 11, 2008 · ·
  1. dark12
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three New York City police officers pleaded innocent on Tuesday to charges one of them sodomized a man with a police baton on a subway platform and two others helped cover up the crime.

    Detective Richard Kern, 25, was charged with aggravated sexual assault, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and other charges.

    Andrew Morales and Alex Cruz, both 26, are charged with participating in the attempted cover up, which included writing a summons for the victim following the assault. If convicted, each faces up to four years in prison.

    "I'm pleased but it still hasn't changed what happened to me," the victim, Michael Mineo, 24, told reporters after the arraignment. "I still have abdominal pain, rectal pain."
    His lawyer, Kevin Mosley said, "It was, for all intents and purposes, rape."

    According to prosecutor Charles Guria, Kern and Morales observed Mineo, who works at a tattoo parlor, smoking a marijuana cigarette as they sat in an unmarked police car in the early afternoon on October 15 near Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

    Cruz and another officer arrived to provide backup and Kern and Cruz followed Mineo into a nearby subway station, Guria said in court.

    "Several officers held Mineo down and rear handcuffed him, and Kern anally assaulted him with a retractable baton," the prosecutors office said in a statement.

    Speaking to reporters after the arraignment, Kern's lawyer, John Patten, said he had not yet reviewed the prosecution's evidence but called Kern a "decent young man" who is married with two young children.

    "Money's driving this case and they're looking for a payday," Patten said of Mineo and his lawyers.

    Kern was released on $15,000 in bail and a $15,000 bond. Morales and Cruz were released on their own recognizance.

    The incident has sparked charges of police brutality and recalls the case of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who was attacked with a broomstick in a Brooklyn police station in 1997.

    In the Louima case, one New York City police officer was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the attack, and a second officer was given a five-year prison sentence for perjury.

    (Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Bill Trott)

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  1. Motorhead
    NYC policeman denies abusing handcuffed suspect

    NEW YORK -- A New York City officer has testified that he never abused a handcuffed suspect with a police baton.

    Officer Richard Kern has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual abuse and assault. Michael Mineo says he was sodomized by police with a baton while handcuffed in October 2008.

    Kern testified Thursday that he put the baton away while arresting Mineo. But on cross-examination, Kern said he had first used the baton to hold down the suspect's legs.

    Asked by his attorney if he placed the baton in Mineo's rectum, he replied: "No, I did not."

    Two other officers have pleaded not guilty to hindering prosecution and official misconduct.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

    NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City police officer is testifying in his own defense at his sex abuse trial.

    Officer Richard Kern has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual abuse and assault. Michael Mineo says he was sodomized by police with a baton while handcuffed in October 2008.

    Kern testified Thursday that Mineo was carrying a benefits card when the alleged incident occurred. That contradicts Mineo's claim that he tried to flee when he saw police because he wasn't carrying ID.

    Mineo also has said officers told him he was going to be arrested for smoking marijuana.

    Kern had been working with an anti-crime team. He says those duties did not include arresting people for such minor offenses.

    Two other officers have pleaded not guilty to hindering prosecution and official misconduct.

    Files from The Associated Press
    Feb. 11, 2010
  2. purplehaze
    Hmmm, interesting. Thanks for the update motorhead.
  3. Motorhead
    3 New York City police officers acquitted of all charges in subway sodomy case

    NEW YORK - A New York City police officer accused of sodomizing a drug suspect in a subway station was acquitted Monday after defence attorneys spent weeks chipping away at the credibility of the accuser, a self-professed gang member who admitted to smoking pot regularly. Two colleagues were acquitted of a coverup.

    Officer Richard Kern had faced as many as 25 years in prison if convicted of aggravated sexual abuse, while Officers Andrew Morales and Alex Cruz could have gotten up to four years on charges of hindering prosecution.

    The defendants' families sighed loudly and cried softly as the verdict was read. After jurors were dismissed, the officers hugged their attorneys and families, and representatives from their union clapped each other on the back.

    "I'm glad the system works," Kern said outside court. "I knew coming in this I was innocent. I was going to stand up for my rights and prove my innocence."

    The man accusing the officers, Michael Mineo, was not in the courtroom for the verdict. Outside court he said that he had a feeling the case would turn out as it did.

    "If you want to commit a murder, join the NYPD," he said, referring to other cases where officers were tried and acquitted in shooting deaths. He said later that he feared for his safety, asking, "Who's going to police the police?"

    Mineo has filed a $440 million lawsuit against the city. His attorney, Stephen Jackson, said the lawsuit would continue as planned and would be unaffected by the outcome of the criminal case. They're also planning to ask federal officials to investigate and want the U.S. Marshals Service to protect Mineo.

    Mineo said later Monday that his credibility wasn't relevant to the facts of the case and "has nothing to do with me being sodomized."

    The 25-year-old Mineo claimed he was assaulted in a Brooklyn subway station on an October afternoon in 2008 after the cops chased him for lighting a joint on the street.

    He said that after he was handcuffed, one of the officers sodomized him with a baton. According to Mineo, the officers hauled him to a squad car but got spooked about what they had done and tried to buy his silence by letting him go, even though there was a warrant out for his arrest.

    Mineo was hospitalized for days with a small non-penetrating wound, then returned again later for more medical care for an internal abscess.

    A transit system police officer who witnessed the struggle testified for the prosecution, but jurors said in a handwritten statement that they found reasonable doubt after examining the evidence. They deliberated just under three days after a trial of nearly four weeks.

    In many ways, the case hinged on the believability of Mineo, a self-professed member of the Crips gang who has been arrested several times and says he regularly uses marijuana. On the witness stand, Mineo was agitated, often rolling his eyes or raising his voice.

    In juxtaposition, Kern and Morales testified calmly about their Catholic-school upbringing, their Little League coaching and their families as well as the confrontation. Kern is married with three small children.

    Defence attorneys worked relentlessly to question Mineo's credibility, arguing he exaggerated the encounter and made up the assault to get a bigger payday from the city.

    "The argument that we made, and it still exists, is the man is simply just not credible," said John Patten, who represented Kern.

    Mineo told jurors that he ran from the officers partly because he wasn't carrying identification. But Patten produced a photograph of Kern, in uniform, looking at what appears to be an ID card that Mineo had handed to him.

    Doctors said Mineo's injuries were consistent with his claims, but defence doctors testified that Mineo could have had a pre-existing medical condition to explain the abscess, and that the officer's alleged actions would have made for severe, irrefutable injuries.

    Stuart London, who represented Cruz, said the medical evidence was critical to the outcome.

    "The medical evidence can't lie, and there was no injury," he said. "Think about it, they tried to prosecute a sexual assault case without ever calling a doctor who saw an injury."

    The case had drawn some comparisons to that of Abner Louima, who was sodomized with a broomstick by an officer in a Brooklyn police station in 1997. But Kenneth Thompson, who prosecuted the case for the U.S. Attorney's office, said the medical evidence then was overwhelming - and that secured the guilty plea of Justin Volpe. He is serving 30 years.

    Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said Monday that he never questions jury verdicts.

    The Police Department initially questioned Mineo's account and allowed the officers to stay on duty. But the case gained momentum a few weeks afterward when his lawyers went public with his allegations.

    Two previous excessive force complaints made against Kern were found to be unsubstantiated, but the city settled with one accuser for $50,000.

    The Rev. Al Sharpton, who was not present during the trial, said afterward the verdict was "a travesty."

    "This jury was not able to consider that at least one of these policemen had been accused of using excessive force before," he said. "We will not live in a city in which the victim becomes examined."

    The officers remain on modified duty pending a departmental review.

    Morales, one of the officers acquitted of hindering prosecution, thanked his family for supporting him during the trial.

    "It was very hard sitting there listening to all the lies," Morales said. Cruz did not speak to reporters.

    Asked about his future plans, Kern said: "Hopefully get back on the street and do what I love to do: protect the people of Brooklyn."

    Feb. 22, 2010
    The Associated Press
    Associated Press writer Samantha Gross contributed to this report.
  4. Rin_Weh
    Gee, why am I not surprised.
    Cops like these and the officers who protect them are just as bad as priests protecting other priests for molestation.
    Both groups seem to be above the law in their own mind no matter which book they preach from.
    Gives all the decent officers and priests a bad name.
    I also have no respect for a judge who let's that crap fly.

    The RCMP is pretty shady too.
  5. semaj
    These type of stories are horrifying, being brutalized by the people we are supposed to call for help.

    Im sure we will never know the whole story on this case, wether it is lazy guy looking to make a buck inspired by the story of Abner Louima, or he really was assaulted by the cops. Either way you look at it, it says something unsavory about some members of todays society.
  6. Solstice
    I don't really think we're getting all the information. This whole story seems highly unlikely, and it uses speech to make the gang member seem so innocent. It's very biased against the cops. I'm just really skeptical about this one.
  7. Motorhead
    There are many cases of police brutality in any given year. This probably would barely warrant a mention in the local paper if he accused the officer of beating him with a baton. But because he allegedly sodomized him with a baton: National Headlines in the Associated Press.
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