“We’re ready to go,” ex-commanding officer of the 49th Precinct Keith Walton’s attorney said to a judge in regard to his high profile case, as it readied to go to trial on Monday, August, 20.
While Walton’s appearance in the Bronx Hall of Justice was brief on Monday, July 30, his ordeal over sexual harassment and misconduct charges have spanned almost two years.
Walton was offered a plea deal that would leave him without a criminal record if he would leave the New York Police Department, according to Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett.
However, Walton declined.
Barrett reiterated to Walton and his attorney that agreeing to the plea deal would leave the accused with a clean record.
“We’re going to trial because he’s not guilty on these charges,” said Walton’s lawyer Xavier Donaldson whom replaced attorney Louis La Pietra at the stand. “Judge Barrett said what he thought he needed to say, that’s his opinion. That [statement] has absolutely and positively unequivocally no effect on my comfort level or confidence about how this case is going to turn out,” he added.
According to dated court documents, on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at the 2121 Eastchester Road stationhouse, Walton allegedly instructed the defendant, a female officer assigned to the stationhouse, to come into his office and then forcefully pulled her hair and attempted to kiss her on the mouth.
Walton then placed his hand on the alleged victim’s genital area over her clothing, according to the complaint.
When the police officer attempted to leave Walton’s office, he allegedly asked her, ‘Where the hell are you going?’ Walton then again put his hand on her genital area over her clothing and then placed the woman’s hand on his erect penis over his clothing twice, according to the criminal complaint.
The victim also claimed she tried to push Walton’s hands off her body and verbally told him to stop touching her.
Walton was then recorded days later by the victim trying to downplay the alleged incident, saying he didn’t remember any resistance by the victim and then asked her for a hug.
Some of Walton’s allies, mostly retired police officers, made their presence known inside and outside of the Bronx Hall of Justice during the court session and afterwards held up signs indicating their support, while chanting their belief in his innocence.
One supporter expressed frustration over District Attorney Darcel Clark’s commentary about the case when she was quoted as saying, “By his degrading behavior, he abused the trust of his officers, as well as that of the residents of the 49th Precinct.”
“What happened to being innocent until proven guilty? A DA should not make an opinion on a case that’s outcome is not yet determined,” the supporter said.
Some protesters claimed that the generous plea deal the DA office offered was an admission that they ‘got it wrong’. The trial’s lack of speediness was also criticized.
Walton’s supporters preached about his high levels of character and resounding efforts to fight corruption within the 49th Precinct.
Many of Walton’s allies believe that this case will be dismissed on August 20, citing that there simply isn’t enough evidence to convict him.