The damning allegations against Officer Michael Golden were laid bare on Monday during a department trial. Golden, 32, is accused of having sex with the women, groping them and allowing them to touch him sexually. The steamy sessions happened in hotels, massage parlors and a bar between January and October 2014, the NYPD charged.
All of the women were illegal immigrants.
“He picked women who he knew he could take advantage of, with the hope nothing would happen to him,” NYPD prosecutor Javier Seymore said during Golden’s administrative trial at Police Headquarters.
The alleged victims came from China, Eastern Europe and the Dominican Republic and other Spanish-speaking countries.
Golden, who could be fired after the trial, denied the charges Monday. He testified he never got naked or had sex with the women.
Assigned to the narcotics bureau at the time, Golden would pay between $40 and $300 for the sex acts, prosecutors said. Then, a field team made up of fellow officers would burst in and make an arrest, NYPD lawyers claimed.
In one of the incidents, Golden allegedly requested two masseuses at once, and paid each woman $80. The women touched him sexually. He massaged the women’s breasts and then ran into a bathroom just before the field team entered, NYPD lawyers alleged.
The woman who first made the allegations said Golden took her to a hotel, where he groped her and exposed himself. In a third incident, he is accused of meeting a woman at a bar and giving her $140 for sex.
Other incidents happened at the swanky $269-a-night Empire Hotel near Lincoln Center and a massage parlor on E. 84th St.
Under the rules, undercover cops can strip down to their underwear, but they aren’t allowed to engage in any sex acts with the sting targets.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to charge Golden based on the lack of witnesses and evidence. Five of the six women have gone back to their home countries.
Golden’s attorney Michael Martinez said the accusations are far from credible because other cops were monitoring a recording device he wore during the stings and heard nothing.
Golden conducted more than 1,000 prostitution operations and made about 150 arrests before he was transferred. The 10-year cop is now on modified assignment at the VIPER unit at Public Service Area 9 in Queens, where he spends his days watching security video at a public housing development. He’s also been reduced in rank from detective to officer.
“You don’t go into an undercover sting like that without backup,” Martinez said. “There are people that burst in the door right after and never saw anything.”
The lawyer said the investigation was anything but thorough.
“It’s a complete hatchet job,” he said.
He said the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau didn’t interview the field team, which would have overheard Golden committing misconduct — if it had actually occurred.
Abigail Swenstein, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, reported the first complaint to the NYPD.
“As a team that represents people engaged in commercial sex and people arrested for prostitution offenses, we commend the NYPD for taking action against Officer Golden,” Swenstein said. “Too often our clients are victims of law enforcement abuse and misconduct for which there is no accountability.”
Investigators pulled records from 29 stings Golden was involved in.
Martinez said all the women were already in trouble — or worried about their immigration status. They would lie to get the charges tossed, he said.
All the charges show “is that he offered money for sex, which is exactly what he’s supposed to do in that situation,” Martinez said.
In an unrelated incident, Golden also phoned in a false complaint about his boss to IAB, department lawyers claimed.
At the time, Golden believed his boss had made negative remarks about his skills as an investigator. In retaliation, Golden filed the complaint accusing him of showing his picture around and bad-mouthing him.
On cross-examination, he was asked how he felt about the anonymous allegation he phoned in.
“Absolutely horrible,” he testified.
Golden has decided to plead guilty to that allegation and asked to be penalized 30 vacation days.