Updated 02/11/2010 11:15 PM
Defense Rests Case Against NYPD Officer Accused Of Sodomy
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Defense lawyers wrapped up their case Thursday against the New York City police officer accused of sodomizing a Brooklyn man inside of a subway station in 2008.
Officer Richard Kern has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual abuse and assault.
Prosecutors say that Kern assaulted Michael Mineo with his police baton after handcuffing him inside a Prospect Park subway station. Mineo claimed he was pursued by officers because he was smoking marijuana.
Kern testified Thursday that he put the baton away while he arrested Mineo and that he never inserted it into Mineo's behind. However, during cross-examination, Kern said he did first use the baton to hold down Mineo's legs during the arrest.
The officer also said Mineo was carrying a benefits card when stopped, contradicting the alleged victim's testimony that he tried to flee police because had no identification on him.
"The whole thing, he admits to having the asp in his hand, but he never stuffed that asp up anyone's rear end," said Kern's attorney John Patton. "Just the whole flow of what happened that day, it needed to be explained."
In previous testimony, Kern's partner said he did not witness any of the officers use excessive force and Mineo gave no indication he was injured and needed medical attention.
But, the officer testified Mineo repeatedly screamed "Y'all violated me," and he said one of the officers said in response, "Yeah, you liked it."
Kern on Thursday said Mineo never screamed about being abused while being handcuffed on the subway station floor. He said it was while he was being led to the patrol car that he screamed, "why did you tase me? Why did you stick a walkie-talkie up my rectum?"
Mineo arrived in court after Kern took the stand and was in attendance during the cross-examination.
"Use your common sense," said Mineo's attorney Stephen Jackson. "Does it make sense for him not to open the baton up if his intention is to subdue my client's legs while he's in the prone position? The baton retracted is only six to eight inches. It is completely useless for the purpose in which Officer Kern testified. I mean, that makes absolutely no sense."
"I feel confident, but there's always that 'what if,'" said Mineo.
In addition to Kern, two other officers, Andrew Morales and Alex Cruz face charges of hindering prosecution and official misconduct. They both have pleaded not guilty and face up to four years in prison if convicted.
Summations are expected to begin Tuesday.