Why is it Legal for NYPD Officers to Have Sex with People in Custody?

After an alleged rape of an 18-year-old woman by NYC police officers, one city councilman is trying to close a loophole that allows cops to claim consent in such situations.

In September, NYPD officers Eddie Martins and Richard Hall detained a teenager who goes by the pseudonym Anna Chambers, along with her friends, during a traffic stop. The officers found prescription drugs, so they handcuffed Chambers in their unmarked police van. They let her friends leave and drove Chambers to a Chipotle parking lot where she says they forced her to perform oral sex and then one of them raped her.

Their DNA matched the DNA found in Chambers’ rape kit. The officers claimed that the sex they had in a parking lot with a teenager they’d handcuffed in their van was consensual.

Somehow, it is not illegal for NYPD officers to have sex with people they have in their custody. According to the Bust, “having sex while on duty and utilizing official authority for personal gain are against NYPD policy, but not conclusively illegal.” Despite having violated this policy, the officers were still allowed on duty, albeit limited.

A successful Care2 petition with almost 60,000 signatures demanded the District Attorney investigate the allegations. The officers resigned on October 30 and were indicted on 50 counts of rape, kidnapping, coercion, sexual assault and receiving a bribe.

It is illegal for corrections officers to have sex with inmates, but not for police to have sex with people in their custody. Because of this loophole, police have the ability to claim that such an act is consensual despite clear power imbalances that make it impossible for someone in that position to consent. There should be no circumstance in which a police officer is allowed to have sex with someone they have handcuffed.

At least one NYC city councilman agrees. Mark Treyger announced he’s working on plans on a city level to make it illegal for officers to engage in sexual behavior during law enforcement activity. This should go without saying, but here we are. Treyger described what happened to Chambers as “deeply, morally wrong.”

“Everyone deserves to be treated with professionalism in the course of their interactions with the police,” wrote Treyger. “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.”

A coalition of city council members and state legislators, headed by Treyger, is working to draft legislation to close this heinous loophole.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

85 comments

Sheila M
Sheila M16 hours ago

cops are SCUM - PERIOD

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Pat P
Pat P13 days ago

What criminal slime! Who in their sane minds would attempt to justify this brutality?!

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I14 days ago

Given the reputation, which precedes cops in the U.S., which isn't a good one, to say the least, if they can take advantage of people in custody, they will! I have no trust in cops whatsoever, given all the senseless serial cop killings in which they have engaged in! I would call an outlaw any day before I would ever call a cop for help as a result.

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michelle t
michelle t15 days ago

American cops have an atrocious international reputation for being corrupt,sleazy and lazy scumbags.There are some good ones,but not very many.

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Filomena C
Filomena C17 days ago

Thanks!

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Filomena C
Filomena C17 days ago

Disgusting! Unacceptable!

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One Heart i
One Heart inc18 days ago

Thanks!!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABVKIPk_u0

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One Heart i
One Heart inc18 days ago

Thanks!!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABVKIPk_u0

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Elaine W
Elaine W19 days ago

It is immoral and disgusting.

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Chad A
Chad A20 days ago

There needs to be much more serious policing of the police.

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