Lawyers for two disgraced policemen have reportedly said a “provocative selfie” posted to social media by a woman who accused them of raping her means her claim is “dubious”.
NYPD detectives Eddie Martins and Richard Hall admitted having sex with the alleged victim while she was in custody but said it was consensual.
But their 18-year-old accuser claimed she was handcuffed, detained in an unmarked police van, driven to a car park and forced to perform oral sex on the two men in the vehicle, and then one of them raped her – while she was still in cuffs.
The woman has gone public with her accusations and has tweeted about her experiences and her legal campaign against the two officers. She is planning on bringing a $50m (£37m) lawsuit against the NYPD.
Mr Martins and Mr Hall, who worked on a Brooklyn drugs squad, have been suspended.
According to the New York Post, the officers’ lawyers are trying to avoid rape charges by attacking the credibility of their accuser.
A legal document obtained by the newspaper claimed the woman’s social media activity included a “provocative selfie” and “bragged about being followed by the paparazzi” after a meeting with lawyers.
The letter also referenced language the woman used online.
“This behaviour is unprecedented for a depressed victim of a vicious rape,” the letter said.
It continued: “She has posted Instagram videos of herself using drugs and rapping about the case while joking about the millions that will be ‘in her bank account’.
The legal letter then requested prosecutors “further investigate [the woman’s] dubious claim before you ask the grand jury to return an indictment against Martins and Hall.”
While it is against NYPD policy for officers to have sex with someone in their custody, it is not actually against state law, the Intercept reported.
The conduct of the officers’ lawyers was criticised by both the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the woman’s lawyer, Michael David.
Mr David told the Post: “We’re dealing with a teenager here….and teenagers, they post a lot of things … It can never take away from what these monsters did to her.”
He has also rubbished the notion of consent, citing the context and small size of the victim, compared to the large builds of Mr Martins and Mr Hall.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said the letter was “inaccurate, inappropriate and demeaning.”