City Councilmember Mark Treyger this week blasted the actions of a pair of detectives involved in a local rape case and announced plans to introduce legislation that would ban the very thing they admitted to doing — having sex with a person in custody.
Via a Medium post entitled “There is no sexual consent while under police custody,” Treyger voiced his concerns in the case of an 18-year-old who accused narcotics detectives of raping her just blocks away from Coney Island’s 60th precinct. Treyger said he is “extremely disturbed by this case” and noted that state law, unfortunately, does not hold police officers responsible for sexual contact between them and a person under arrest.
“I am pursuing legislative action on the City level to make it illegal for an NYPD officer to engage in sexual conduct with someone in the course of law enforcement activity,” Treyger wrote. “Likewise, I urge my colleagues in the New York State Legislature to work quickly to remedy this omission in the Penal Code. Our laws regarding sexual consent must be brought into line with basic common sense, empathy, and human decency.”
Treyger also strongly condemned the detectives’ attorneys after they attempted to use the alleged victim’s social media activity against her — an “inexcusable” effort to discredit her, he said.
“I am grateful to the Brooklyn District Attorney for repudiating these efforts to reinforce dehumanizing stereotypes about ‘appropriate’ behavior of a victim of rape,” he wrote.
The alleged victim’s attorney, Michael David, told Coney Island News last week that his client is “not good” and that she “is very depressed over the situation. She’s an emotional wreck right now.”
The story has continued to grow — now to the national level — as many have wondered why the detectives are still walking free. Protesters marched down the streets of Coney Island last week chanting “No more police state! No more rape!” and called for the prosecution of the detectives, who have reportedly been demoted.
According to reports, a grand jury has convened and is reviewing evidence in the case. When we asked the alleged victim’s lawyer about this last week, he said he hadn’t heard of anything since the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office assured his client of a full investigation.
“I’m just waiting to see what happens next,” he said.
Treyger said regardless of the legal outcome, the community needs to have a proper discussion about these issues and those in power must be held accountable.
“When police officers exploit the public trust to prey on individuals, it is particularly egregious,” he wrote. “Elected officials in New York City and State, myself included, must do more to ensure that our laws protect survivors of sexual assault, and hold police officers to the same standards as corrections workers and parole officers when interacting with the public.”