Officers' Defense in Sodomy Case: Suspect Did It Himself
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
January 22, 2010
NEW YORK – Lawyers for three cops on trial for a sodomy attack on a suspect branded the alleged victim a lying scammer who caused his own injuries – while his hands were cuffed behind him.
“He was digging and digging at his backside,” John Patten, lawyer for Officer Richard Kern, said in opening arguments Thursday.
The accuser, Michael Mineo, was not in the Brooklyn courtroom as the defense team attacked his criminal history and his $440 million civil suit.
Mineo claims Kern, 26, chased him into the Prospect Park subway station for smoking pot and rammed him with a baton.
New York Policing
Cruz’s lawyer, Stuart London, told jurors there wasn’t anything to cover up – that Mineo had a “preexisting medical condition.” It was obvious to a fourth cop at the scene that Mineo, 25, was making it worse, London said.
“What are you doing back there?” Officer Noel Jugraj asked, according to London.
Prosecutors and their witnesses painted a different picture.
They said Jugraj heard Cruz tell Mineo, “You liked it,” after the tattoo-parlor worker complained about the manhandling.
James Dallas, 13, who was visiting his subway-worker father at the station, said he saw cops cuff Mineo and ask about the drugs.
“One of the other officers said, ‘He put it in his butt,’” the teen said. “The guy said, ‘I didn’t put it in my butt, I swallowed it.’”
James’ mother, Andrew, said she saw Mineo led to a police car with his pants falling down.
“He was screaming, ‘I can’t believe you shoved a walkie-talkie up my ass like I’m some kind of faggot,’” said Dallas, who misidentified Kern as Mineo twice in the courtroom. “And one of them said, ‘You are a faggot.’”
Mineo is expected to be on the stand Monday, and he’ll face a tough grilling from defense lawyers – who claim a conviction against the cops will bolster his lawsuit.
“He’s trying to scam the people of New York City,” Patten said.
“You should send Mr. Mineo packing back to the state of Pennsylvania where he has many [outstanding] warrants.”
Prosecutors say medical evidence and police witnesses will prove Mineo is a victim.
“There’s no explanation, there’s no excuse for what happened to him,” prosecutor Charles Guria said.