Yesterday, a police officer testified that her police captain boyfriend viciously beat her. Sharon Gandarilla, who was married to another man at the time of the affair, had filed a sexual-harassment suit earlier this month, alleging that 17-year NYPD veteran Alberto Sanchez had assaulted her multiple times during they three-year affair. She also claimed that Sanchez forced her to have sex at their East Harlem precinct house and at the Police Academy, where he was later transferred and where he persuaded her to transfer.
While on the stand, Gandarilla recounted that she had been in love with Sanchez and admitted she was not forthcoming about the affair when she made her initial complaint to Internal Affairs lat year. She said, "I lied then. I'm telling the truth now. I was scared of everyone finding out about our affair. I was afraid of him losing his job." The Post called her testimony "amazing," as she "toggle[d] between street-savvy cop and wobbly abuse survivor," wondering if the beatings Sanchez allegedly gave her were her fault and how Sanchez would tell her she was "worth nothing." She also recounted a particularly public beating in Greenwich Village; from the NY Times:
At the party, she and Captain Sanchez drank white zinfandel, she testified, as she talked with a male colleague.
“I could see that Alberto was getting agitated,” she said. He whispered, “We’re leaving,” she testified, then gripped her wrist and pulled her out of the restaurant. She was so embarrassed, she said, that she left her bag and cellphone behind.
Once outside, he dragged her by the hair to her car, which was parked on Bleecker Street, and forced her inside by kicking her until her thigh felt numb, she testified. “I prayed to God,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Please, don’t let it be my last day.’ ”
He held her captive, she said, by pressing the lock button every time she pressed the unlock button.
The day before, witnesses had testified that they saw the West Village beating last year. Anton Wilkinson, an NYU security guard, recounted that he observed Sanchez beating and kicking Gandarilla, and then, when he approached the pair and offered his help to Gandarilla, she declined. Even after a friend took photographs of her bruises, she opted to shred the photos when Sanchez pleaded for forgiveness.
Gandarilla also claims that Sanchez would also enlist other cops to deny her vacation time and assign her less desirable duties when she tried to end their affair.