When a Cop Lies About Sex

Gail Lawrence was prosecuted for telling the truth about a Palisades cop

But Samson wouldn't budge. "It's not incumbent on the state to prove intent for a motor vehicle charge," he said in court. "So she's speeding, she's speeding."

In other words, even though Lawrence had been proved correct in her allegations against Roberson, the state still refused to drop the other charges.

Last June 15, Lawrence returned for the second and final day of her trial on filing a false report and eluding police officers. She heard Judge McGeady finally dismiss the false-reporting charge but convict her of eluding the officers.

Gail Lawrence
Emily Berl
Gail Lawrence
Officer Vincent Roberson, middle row, center, was fired for lying about the affair with Gail Lawrence. Lieutenant Michael Coppola, front row, far left, conducted the investigation into her allegations.
Palisades Police publicity photo
Officer Vincent Roberson, middle row, center, was fired for lying about the affair with Gail Lawrence. Lieutenant Michael Coppola, front row, far left, conducted the investigation into her allegations.

Prosecutors offered her an unusual, almost extortionate plea deal—no jail if she agreed not to file a lawsuit.

The offer, Fried says, smacked of yet another effort to cover up the department's misconduct. She declined the offer and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. On July 2, she will begin that sentence.

"My suspicion is they dismissed the charges because they didn't want it to come out in court," Fried says.

Meanwhile, it's still unclear why the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office did not pursue charges against Roberson.

So far, Lawrence's legal issues have cost somewhere close to $40,000. The unemployed Lawrence says friends in the Jewish community have paid her legal fees. She is preparing a lawsuit against the PIPPD and prosecutors.

Asked how the PIPPD should have handled Lawrence and her repeated traffic problems, Fried says this: "If it was one instance, fine. But she had dozens of encounters with them, and about six psychiatric commitments. At some point, they should have reached out to someone for outside help. The problem is this is a boys' club, and it was easier to arrest her."

As for Roberson, according to a résumé he posted online, he got a job as a security guard in Manhattan.

grayman@villagevoice.com

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