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Elmhurst woman sues NYPD in sodomy case

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An Elmhurst woman whose apartment was allegedly raided by the Queens narcotics unit of the NYPD has filed a suit against the city claiming she was sodomized in a precinct house bathroom by a detective from the squad who demanded sex in return for allowing her to keep custody of her children.

According to a civil complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court, Detective Oscar Sandino isolated the woman during the raid and later molested her in the bathroom stall while another officer stood guard outside. The woman and her attorney, Jose Muniz, seek unspecified damages from the city, claiming that they provided evidence of Sandino’s sexual assault to the NYPD and the department chose to cover up the crime.

Sandino told the New York Post outside his home Friday he was not a rapist. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not respond to a request for comment by press time Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office would neither confirm nor deny any investigation, but Sandino had not been charged Tuesday afternoon.

The raid took place around 10 p.m. Feb. 18, 2008, court papers show. Officers serving a search warrant entered the apartment the woman shared with her boyfriend and her three children, and Sandino told the woman to go into the other room to get clothes for her children, according to the papers.

While they were in the other room together, Sandino allegedly ordered the woman to take off her clothes, stopping when a female officer knocked on the door, the papers said.. During questioning, Sandino allegedly told the woman he had a wife and children and said several times her children would be taken away. Later, when they were alone in a police SUV together, he allegedly asked her what she would be willing to do to keep them.

“How did your children come into this world ... you had to be bedded,” the court papers quoted Sandino as saying. The detective allegedly gave the woman some time to think about it, driving her to a cell at the 110th Precinct station house.

Later, he allegedly took her to the bathroom, entered the stall she was in and asked her again if she was willing to have sex, the papers said. When the woman objected to doing the act in the bathroom stall, Sandino allegedly told her it was the “safest place,”according to the complaint.

After Sandino allegedly sodomized the woman, he programmed his number into her cellular phone and told her to call him in a few days with the expectation they would have sex, the papers said.

After conferring with a lawyer, the woman recorded several cell phone conversations with Sandino and gave copies of them to the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, but the investigation led to no disciplinary action, court papers show. The suit alleges Sandino and other officers “agreed and conspired to obstruct justice and conceal and cover up the New York City Police Department Internal Affairs’ finding on the sexual assault.”

No court date has yet been set for the case.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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