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The Bobster
03-29-2018, 12:22 PM
https://nypost.com/2018/03/28/cop-of-the-month-allegedly-harassed-transgender-woman-during-traffic-stop/

‘Cop of the Month’ allegedly harassed transgender woman during traffic stop
By Stephanie Pagones and Lia Eustachewich
March 28, 2018 | 10:30pm | Updated

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/copoftheyear.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=618&h=410&crop=1
Michael DiCecco
Staten Island Advance/Irving Silverstein


An NYPD officer once named “Cop of the Month” allegedly harassed a transgender woman — asking her “what did she have t-ts for” :p during a stop in 2016, a prosecutor said Wednesday at his departmental trial.

Melanie Legend was walking home April 21, 2016 on Staten Island when she was stopped by a “dark-colored, unmarked Impala,” a prosecutor with the Civilian Complaint Review Board said in court.

That’s when three men got out — Sgt. Michael DiCecco, Officer Robert Hesterhagen and Officer Gary Leite — and began talking to her.

Legend claimed DiCecco allegedly put his “thumb in Melanie Legend’s waistband and pulled her pants down in the middle of the street,” prosecutor Hamilton Lee said in opening statements.

He then asked her “why she changed her name” and “what did she have t-ts for” — before commenting about a bulge in her waistband.

“After finding nothing on her, they let her go.”

DiCecco — who earned “Cop of the Month” honors in 2012 for making a number of arrests, according to the Staten Island Advance — is charged, in sum, with abuse of authority, discourtesy and using offensive language.

The three cops were tracked down after Legend partially took down their license plate.

But DiCecco’s lawyer John D’Alessandro insisted Legend is fingering the wrong guy, claiming he was “in the middle of a very serious felony arrest” approximately two miles away when Legend was stopped.

Also in question is Legend’s description of DiCecco — whom she described as 26 to 29 years old, 150 to 160 pounds and having “dirty blond or light brown hair,” testified CCRB Investigator Joshua Richardson.

But DiCecco is 47 yeas old with salt and pepper hair and weighs about 200 pounds, D’Alessandro said. :D

“Did it cause you any concern at that moment that she had identified the wrong person?” D’Alesandro asked.

Richardson, who interviewed Legend in May 2016, deflected by claiming she pointed him out in a photo array in July, months after providing the physical description.

When asked the same question by the judge, Richardson said he had no concern about Legend’s identification.

Richardson also neglected to acknowledge that there was a second vehicle matching the description Legend provided — including the same three letters.

A year after she was stopped, Legend sued the city and the three police officers, claiming they made comments about her body and strip-searched her :confused: in the middle of the street. That suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, was settled last week for $25,000, the city Law Department confirmed.

“Settling this case was in the city’s best interest,” a Law Department spokesman said.

DiCecco’s trial continues April 18.