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After A Teen Alleged That Two Cops Assaulted Her, NYC Councilman Wants To Make It Illegal For NYPD To Have Sex With People In Custody

After a teenager said she was sexually assaulted by two New York City Policemen, New York City Councilman Mark Treyger announced that he will be proposing legislation to make it “illegal for an NYPD officer to engage in sexual conduct with someone in the course of law enforcement activity,” Broadly reports.

According to a report by The Intercept, there is a clear discrepancy in New York law, where it is illegal for corrections officer to have sexual relations with those they guard, but there is nothing that states that it is illegal for police officers to have relations with those in their custody.  

The 19-year-old teen, who was only 18 at the time when the two officers assaulted her, testified before a grand jury on Monday, according to The New York Post. The teen, who calls herself Anna Chambers on social media, claimed that NYPD detectives, Richard Hall and Eddie Martins, sexually assaulted her after she and two male friends were pulled over by the officers for being in Calvert Vaux Park in Coney Island after dark, The New York Post reports.

One of the male friends talked with The Post and said that the officers searched the car and found prescription pills in Chamber’s purse. “They said she’s not allowed to have them outside the bottle, they’re a controlled substance, and she has to go to the precinct,” the friend told The Post. “I saw them put her in cuffs. She was like, ‘Are you serious?’”

Chambers alleged that the two officers then sexually assaulted her in a Chipotle parking lot on September 15, while still handcuffed in the back on the police van, according to The Post. Both officers forced Chambers to give them oral sex, and one officer raped her. Following the results of a rape kit, the officers’ DNA was found to be a match, but the officers have since tried to attack Chamber’s credibility by saying that the encounter was consensual. Furthermore, in a letter to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, the officers accused Chambers of “rebrand[ing] herself as a wannabe rapper named ‘Fi5ty Milli’” after filing a $50 million claim with the city, and attacked her online behavior, citing a “provocative selfie” which is supposedly “unprecedented for a depressed victim of a vicious rape,” The Post reports.

However, according to Broadly, Councilman Treyger said in a statement that Chamber’s case impacted him. “Regardless of legal outcomes, we know that it is wrong for two police officers to use their positions of authority to engage in sexual activity with a teenager. Everyone deserves to be treated with professionalism in the course of their interactions with the police; the abuse of power exercised by these two detectives rattles the foundations of positive police-community relations that the law enforcement community has been working to build,” Treyger wrote.

Assistant Director of Intervention Programs at the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, Josie Torielli, said that she supports Treyger’s fight to end police sexual violence and that this update to New York’s law could be “impactful,” Broadly reports. “I’m just sorry it took a case where there was an [alleged] egregious misuse of power to make that happen.”

“Legislation can help us to raise awareness,” Torielli said. “For a lot of survivors, one of the reasons they go through a criminal legal process is to have something named as a crime, and to have something named as illegal. It’s important to do that. Leaving aside the limited remedies that the criminal legal system sometimes offers, there is sometimes a great deal of comfort in having something named as illegal, even if it shouldn’t have to be so.”

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.