The officers accused of sodomizing a Brooklyn man in October in a subway station maintain their innocence after being indicted on Tuesday. Officers Richard Kern, Andrew Morales and Alex Cruz were charged with sexual assault and trying to cover up the incident. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes made the announcement Tuesday morning. The case was heard before a grand jury and ended with the officers being charged. Kern, 25, is charged with first-degree aggravated sexual abuse and faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Of the 32 charges, which include official misconduct and falsifying business records for attempting to conceal the incident, Morales and Cruz, both 26, face up to four years in prison.
The victim, Michael Mineo, 24, alleged that the officers sodomized him with a police baton in the Prospect Park subway station in Brooklyn. Mineo was suspected of smoking marijuana before he ran from police. He alleges that the officers caught him, pinned him to the ground and assaulted him.
The tattoo parlor worker was hospitalized for injuries to his anus, and medical records state that there was anal assault. Lab tests proved that Mineo’s DNA was on Kern’s baton. Two transit workers and one officer from the 71st Precinct came forward with information about the alleged attack. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
The three officers were originally put on desk duty, but Hynes reported that bail would be set for Kern at $50,000, $20,000 for Morales and $10,000 for Cruz. Kern has a history of excessive force and has cost the city $50,000 in lawsuits for police brutality.