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Three New York City police officers were acquitted Monday of sodomy charges stemming from an alleged assault on a subway platform in Brooklyn in 2008.
Michael Mineo, a tattoo parlor employee, said he was sodomized with a police baton by one officer, while the two others covered it up. After a four-week trial, and a day of deliberations, the officers were found not guilty on all counts, according to Reuters.
Officer Richard Kern, 26, was accused of being the main assailant, after chasing down Mineo, who allegedly had been smoking marijuana. Officers Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales, both 28, were charged for being present and attempting to hide the assault.
Kern faced up to 25 years in jail for aggravated sexual assault and other charges. However, the defense argued that Mineo was not a credible source, given his frequent drug use and being a self-confessed former gang member, according to the report.
"It's been a long road and it's finally over, thank God," Kern told reporters after the trial. "I'll finally get a good night's sleep. I'm glad the system works."
According to TheNew York Times, Mineo's lawyers are working on an appeal of the verdict and and are asking federal prosecutors to step in, since they claim his civil rights were violated.
"I ain't even surprised," Mineo said according to the Times. "I kind of had a feeling it would turn out this way. If you want to commit a murder, join the N.Y.P.D. and you get cleared off."