Jurors convicted an NYPD detective on Wednesday for arresting a man in South Jamaica on false drug possession charges and then lying under oath about the incident, prosecutors said.
Detective Kevin Desormeau, 34, who was assigned to the NYPD Gang Unit, was found guilty on Jan. 24 of first-degree perjury, official misconduct and making a punishable false written statement on the criminal complaint filed with the court. The conviction came, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, following a jury trial that lasted more than a week.
Desormeau and another member of the Gang Unit, Detective Sasha Neve, were indicted last March after the Queens District Attorney’s office investigated the arrest they made of the male victim back in August of 2014. The victim, Brown said, wound up spending 51 days jailed at Rikers Island, but the investigation led to the dismissal of all charges against him.
On the night of Aug. 28, 2014, according to the indictment, Desormeau and Neve took the victim into custody after allegedly observing him purportedly selling drugs at the corner of 108th Avenue and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. Desormeau, in a criminal court affidavit, claimed that he saw the man make a hand-to-hand exchange with an unapprehended woman, and that he later found rock cocaine in the man’s waistband.
Prosecutors said that Desormeau kept the story up during testimony before a grand jury on Jan. 16, 2015, and again during a court hearing on Nov. 5, 2015. During the court appearance, he repeated that he saw the victim participate in a drug sale with two women, and that he recovered cocaine and $725 in cash from him.
The victim wound up being arraigned on charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance and incarcerated at Rikers Island. After making bail, he contacted his attorney, who subsequently presented to the Queens District Attorney’s office a surveillance video from a restaurant and bar near where the arrest occurred.
The video showed the victim playing pool at the same time as the alleged drug transaction took place, Brown said. It also showed Desormeau entering the location while the man was playing pool, then later escorting him outside.
Following his conviction, Desormeau was ordered to return to court on March 21 for sentencing; he faces up to seven years behind bars.
Court records indicated that Neve remains on trial for his role in the case.