Two New York City policemen have been indicted on formal rape, kidnapping and bribery charges for allegedly forcing themselves on an 18-year-old woman who was in their custody for alleged marijuana possession, PEOPLE confirms.
The alleged rape occurred on Sept. 15 in a police van in Brooklyn while the teen was handcuffed, an NYPD source tells PEOPLE. Both officers have insisted the sex was consensual, according to the source.
Officers Eddie Martins and Richard Hall turned themselves in for arraignment on Monday, the source confirms. A grand jury returned indictments against the men on Thursday, according to a press release from Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
“It is incomprehensible that two veteran NYPD detectives would allegedly commit such an outrageous act,” Gonzalez said. “They took an oath to protect and serve, but allegedly violated that oath by raping a young woman who was in their custody. We will now seek to hold them accountable for this flagrant betrayal of public trust.”
Martins, 37, and Hall, 32, who had been working as narcotics officers, face between 3 and 25 years behind bars if convicted. Both have also been suspended from the force without pay.
The two men, also facing sexual assault, coercion, and misconduct charges, have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Weeks ago, the accuser took to Twitter to relay her story of the alleged rape.
Following her arrest for alleged drug possession, the victim, posting under the alias Anna Chambers, alleges she was driven to a Coney Island parking lot, where Martins raped her. Both men, she alleges, forced her to perform sex acts on them.
No drug charges have been filed against the alleged victim.
Her attorney, Michael David, tells PEOPLE the 50-count indictments validate his client’s claims, which, he says, will serve as the basis of an impending civil suit against the police department and the city.
“She feels helpless and depressed, and she stays in a room all day,” David tells PEOPLE. “She was planning to go to college next semester, but she won’t be doing that anymore. Two monsters with badges and guns drove off with her in a small minivan and raped her while on duty.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The statement from Gonzalez alleges the victim was picked up in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The officers stopped her car, and allegedly found a small quantity of marijuana in the front seat cup holder. “The officers instructed the three occupants,” including two male passengers, “to step out of the car and [they] asked if they had any drugs on them” and the “young woman responded she had marijuana and two Klonopin pills,” it is alleged in the statement.
“The detectives handcuffed the woman, told her she was under arrest and would be getting a desk appearance ticket,” the statement alleges. “They let her companions go and instructed them to retrieve their friend from the precinct in three hours, the evidence showed.”
According to the statement, “Detective Martins allegedly told the young woman he and his partner are ‘freaks’ and asked her what she wanted to do to get out of the arrest. It is alleged that Detective Martins forced the handcuffed teen to perform a sex act on him while seated in the back seat of the van as Detective Hall drove and watched through the rear view mirror. Detective Martins then allegedly raped the victim.”
The statement continues that the two men allegedly pulled the van over, “and switched places. Detective Martins got behind the wheel and Detective Hall got into the back seat of the van, where he allegedly forced the victim to perform a sex act on him.”
They also “allegedly gave her back the Klonopin pills, told her to keep her mouth shut and released her.”
David says that his client has been the subject of online harassment ever since the allegations first surfaced. She has also been the target of a smear campaign designed to tarnish her character, he says.
• PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: 35 Real Cases That Inspired the Show Law & Order is on sale now.
“They are trying to blame the victim here, which is really disgusting,” David says, adding that the teen has been attacked for the clothes she is wearing in social media posts.
“This girl can dress however she wants and she can post whatever selfies she wants — that’s what teenage girls do. Her social media posts have nothing to do with the brutal rape she was forced to endure,” David says.
Martins’ attorney, Mark Bederow, tells PEOPLE that “we vigorously contest the central component of these allegations, which is that there was any forcible sexual activity or kidnapping of this young woman off the street.”
Hall’s lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Martins was ordered held on $250,000 bail and Hall was ordered held on $150,000 bail.
An initial court date has been set for Jan 18, 2018.