Supporters for the woman accusing two former detectives of raping her stand outside Brooklyn Supreme Court. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
A Brooklyn woman, who is expected to testify against the two former NYPD detectives who allegedly kidnapped and raped her in the back of a police van, was assigned a defense attorney ahead of the trial, the Eagle has learned.
As per the advice of Brooklyn prosecutors, Justice Danny Chun assigned criminal defense attorney Michael V. Cibella to represent the 19-year-old — who has introduced herself on social media as “Anna Chambers” — when she takes the witness stand later this month.
The woman is expected to testify against ex-cops Richard Hall and Eddie Martins for falsely arresting her on Sept. 15, 2017 for drug possession and taking turns raping her in the back of a police-issued vehicle as they drove through Bay Ridge and Coney Island.
Since Hall and Martins were indicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court in November 2017 on a litany of charges that could place them behind bars for up to 25 years, Chambers filed a $50 million federal lawsuit against the city and the alleged misfits. In an unprecedented decision, the civil case is proceeding as the criminal case is pending.
After Chambers gives testimony for the civil litigation, the attorneys for Hall and Martins consistently file motions with Justice Chun requesting to dismiss the indictment based on inconsistent statements they are comparing from the criminal investigation.
“It’s not a coincidence that the DA’s request comes shortly after we filed a detailed motion to dismiss, in which detailed an alarming pattern of patently false and contradictory statements to friends, police, prosecutors and the media, as well as perjured testimony in the grand jury and on four separate occasions when she testified in connection with her lawsuit,” said Mark Bederow, one of Martin’s attorneys.
A spokesman from the District Attorney’s Office confirmed their recommendation for Chambers to get a lawyer on Wednesday. “I’m getting familiarized with the case,” Cibella told the Eagle on Friday.
“This request reveals the DA’s concern that she will testify falsely at trial, and that her testimony will increase her existing exposure to perjury,” said Bederow. “Any witness in this predicament should be advised by competent counsel.”
Immunity is not given to complaining witnesses, who commit perjury to the grand jury, which decides whether to file an indictment or not. In essence, if Chambers commits perjury during the trial, she faces the possibility of her own criminal charges.
Request for comment from Chambers’ civil attorney Michael David was not immediately received.
Hall, a married father of two, and Martins resigned from the NYPD. They claim the encounter with Chambers was consensual.