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Ban sex between police and people in custody, City Council committee says

Cuomo has proposed a statewide bill to close a “loophole” that criminalizes correction and probation officers’ behavior — but not cops’.

Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Queens), chairman of the City Council Public Safety Committee, discusses a resolution urging the state to make it a criminal offense for a police officer to have sexual relations with a person who has been detained. (Credit: Newsday / Matthew Chayes)

Any cop who has sex with a detainee should be guilty of rape — regardless of claimed consent, a City Council committee said unanimously on Tuesday.

By a vote of 10-0, the Committee on Public Safety passed a resolution to ask the state to “create a new offense for individuals in police custody to be held as categorically incapable of consenting to sexual conduct with a police officer.”

“The power dynamic between police officers and individuals in their custody is such that genuine consent cannot be provided,” according to the resolution, No. 177, sponsored by Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn).

Committee chairman Donovan Richards (D-Queens), calling the status quo — which criminalizes as rape sex between correction and probation officers and a detainee, but does not cover police officers — “ridiculous.”

The resolution comes in response to the arrest last fall of two NYPD detectives who are charged with having sex with an 18-year-old, handcuffed Brooklyn woman in September. She had been stopped for having marijuana in her vehicle and the detectives allegedly brought her to a Chipotle parking lot for the encounter.

Both cops have resigned from the force, pleaded not guilty and said the sex was consensual.

Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), before casting his vote, called the need to pass a new law “nonsensical.”

“This comes from the annals of, ‘I’m shocked it wasn’t illegal to begin with,’ ” Williams said.

Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn), said: “I think it’s insane that this even has to be a law.”

The resolution now goes to the full council.

When asked about the resolution, Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, pointed to a similar bill proposed last month by the governor.

A separate Treyger bill, which is pending, would make it a misdemeanor in New York City for cops to have sex with arrestees. But the state must amend the penal law — Section 130.05, which covers sex without consent — in order to extend the harsher penalties of state rape law to police officer-detainee sex.

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