Updated 01/22/2010 12:48 AM
Testimony Begins In NYPD Assault Trial
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Following opening statements, testimony began Thursday in the trial of three city police officers accused of assaulting a Brooklyn man in the Prospect Park subway station.
Prosecutors say that New York City Police Officer Richard Kern jammed his metal expandable police baton into the rectum of Michael Mineo in October 2008, after the latter was stopped and handcuffed for allegedly smoking marijuana in a Brooklyn subway station.
"Michael Mineo reached down and grabbed his pants and showed them evidence that he had been injured. He pulled his hand out and he showed blood on his hands," said prosecutor Charles Guria. "Not hours later, not days later, he showed them blood right then and there."
Lawyers for the prosecution say after the incident, which allegedly occurred in the middle of the day, Kern threatened Mineo not to talk about it.
Mineo, pictured right, is set to take the stand next week.
Officer Richard Kern is charged with aggravated sexual abuse and assault. Officers Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales are charged with hindering prosecution and official misconduct.
The defense says the assault never occurred.
They allege that Mineo's internal injuries were the result of a pre-existing, untreated abscess that was infected.
Prosecutors are set to call another officer who says he witnessed the assault and will present DNA to prove the attack occurred.
Defense lawyers say Mineo is just looking to make some money.
"I think there's fabricated evidence and I firmly feel that Mr. Mineo is not being truthful here, and he's motivated greatly by money," said John Potton, Kern's attorney. "So also are his lawyers."
Mineo has also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city for hundreds of millions of dollars.
If convicted, Kern faces 25 years behind bars. Cruz and Morales each face four years in prison.
The case will reconvene on Tuesday.