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Laws In 35 U.S. States Let Cops Have Sex With Someone In Their Custody

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It’s no secret that the legal and judicial system have gaping holes that allow for inconceivable levels of abuse of power. One of these glaring holes exists within the 35 U.S. states that allow officers to evade rape charges by claiming the sexual act was consensual.

This horrifying realization only comes to light after a New York City native, 18-year-old named Anna came forward to say was raped by two on-duty police officers. The ordeal started after Anna and two male friends were in a parked car in a Brooklyn park. Two plain-clothed police officers approached them, flashed their badges and began asking questions.

Reportedly, weed was found in the cupholder of the car and the cops ordered the three occupants out. The two male friends were reportedly allowed to leave while Anna explains she was put in the back of the officer’s cop car.

 

Anna says the detectives took turns raping her in the backseat of the police van while she sat in handcuffs and repeatedly cried and said “No.” Surveillance footage shows the officers dropped Anna off on the side of the road, a quarter-mile from a police station.

According to Buzzfeed report which broke the story, “She stood on the sidewalk, her arms wrapped around her chest, looking up and down the dimly lit street and pacing slowly before borrowing a cell phone from a passerby to call a friend.”

Later at the hospital, semen collected during Anna’s rape kit matched the DNA of detectives Eddie Martins, 37, and Richard Hall, 33, of the Brooklyn South narcotics unit. Both have since resigned from the force and been charged with rape.

As a writer and as a female, this story angers me. It makes my blood boil for all the laws and regulations allow abuse of power to casually destroy women’s lives. Anna’s response to all of this has been to be young, not to be victimized and to move forward. To accompany this energy, people have come forward in hoards to show their support for Anna, and let her know, “we believe you.”

 

This case has brought to light that New York is one of 35 U.S. states that have adopted grotesque and deplorable laws which allow officer’s in Martins’ and Hall’s particular scenario to claim that sex forced on an 18-year-old girl was consensual. California, Oregon, Washington, Florida among other states, however, hold laws that keep this from happening.

In 2005, Oregon closed the loophole that allowed cops to take this route when accused of rape. Alaska followed suit in 2013 and Arizona in 2015. Other states have yet to resolve this gaping hole, however, because they don’t even know it exists.

According to Buzzfeed writer Albert Samaha, of at least 158 law enforcement officers charged since 2006 with sexual assault, sexual battery, or unlawful sexual contact with somebody under their control, at least 26 have been acquitted or had charges dropped based on the consent defense. This is government-protected and legally permissible rape.

In 2013, 88.4% of full-time law enforcement officers were male. As Penny Harrington, a former Portland, Oregon, police chief told Buzzfeed, “Part of the reason the problem’s so bad in policing is there are people who are drawn to the job for the gun and the badge and the authority. And everybody else just keeps their mouth shut.”

 

Norm Stamper, a former Seattle police chief said, “Police abuse of authority is often concealed. Victims fear coming forward for fear of retaliation.” Cops armed with weapons, the threat of arrest and access to every discreet detail of a victim’s personal information act as very palpable examples where retaliation can take place.

Accompanied by laws that support and defend officer abuse, it’s easy to see why sick, angry, vengeance-filled cops – statistically men – seek to abuse the power America so idiotically as a country offer them. In Anna’s case, this will be an on-going and painful journey only because she was brave enough to speak out. We can do right by her, and all of the many women who have fallen into the same unfortunate fate as her, by listening and acting now.

 

 

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