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29 May, 2009 07:54

NYC man sues police for $220 million

NYC man sues police for $220 million

A man has claimed that three New York City police officers attacked and sodomized him on a subway platform and is suing the city, the police and the officers for $220 million for civil rights violations, reports Reuters.

The three officers involved in the alleged sodomy of Michael Mineo on October 15, 2008, pleaded innocent to the charges last December.

One of the officers, Detective Richard Kern, is accused of using a police baton to sodomize the victim while the other two, Andrew Morales and Alex Cruz, are accused of covering up the incident.

“When you distill it, it was a male-on-male rape,” Kevin Mosley, a lawyer for Mineo, said on Thursday.

Detective Kern has been charged with aggravated sexual assault and, combined with various other charges, faces up to 25 years in prison. Morales and Cruz, face up to four years in prison for charges related to the attempted cover up.

Mineo’s lawyer speaking about the severity of case said:

“The amount of damages, which is the aggregate of the 11 counts, is reflective of the wrong and the suffering that this young man went through and will go through for the rest of his life,” he said.

Prosecutors say that Detective Kern and Morales had been observing Mineo smoking a marijuana cigarette as they sat in an unmarked police car. Officer Cruz later arrived with another officer as backup and, along with Kern and Morales, followed Mineo into the subway station near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park where the alleged crime took place.

The case is expected to move forward in June in a state court in Brooklyn.

The Mineo case is similar to one that took place in 1997 involving an attack by police officers on a Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in Brooklyn. One of the police officers involved in that case was sentenced to 30 years in prison, while another received five years for perjury.

The civil suit resulted in a settlement of $US 8.75 million, with Louima collecting around $5.8 million after legal fees.