Eric Garner Case Attorney Steps Down Amid Rape Allegations*Things have gotten complicated for the family of Eric Garner as the lawyer representing them has stepped down.

The Associated Press reports that attorney Sanford Rubenstein has been accused of raping a woman he met at a 60th-birthday party for the Rev. Al Sharpton last week.

According to media sources, the alleged incident took place at Rubenstein’s apartment after the party. The 70-year-old lawyer’s accuser, a 42-year-old executive at Sharpton’s National Action Network, reportedly went to his apartment and claims she was raped. A police source states the woman says she awoke the following day to find herself engaged in another sexual act with Rubenstein, who is a longtime friend of Sharpton’s.

Police investigators also suspect Rubenstein might have used an object to penetrate the woman, the reports noted, as it added that the case is being treated as a third-degree rape because the alleged victim was incapable of consent.

A police source told the New York Daily News that the woman was “a little drunk” when she left Sharpton’s party. The woman, who is reportedly Black, did tell police she remembered going to Rubenstein’s home but not giving her consent to have sex. Authorities are investigating whether the alleged victim was drugged.

The victim, according to a police source, sought treatment at a hospital and was bleeding from her genitals. A rape kit was brought in for her as well, according to reports.

At this time, Rubenstein has denied the allegations and hasn’t been arrested or charged with a crime, his law partner Scott Rynecki,  told the AP.

Rynecki will replace Rubinstein, who was determined to not let the rape accusation be a distraction to the Garner case.

“I will be stepping back from any role representing the family of police-choking victim Eric Garner so there are no distractions from the family’s fight for justice,” Rubenstein said in a statement made on Tuesday. Other highly capable attorneys will remain on the team representing the Garner family and will continue to press for justice and accountability.”

News of Rubenstein’s case is the latest development in the case of Garner, who died after police confronted him on July 17 with the belief that he was selling untaxed cigarettes. According to the AP, “Garner’s family has filed a notice of claim to sue the city and the Police Department for $75 million.”

In light of Rubenstein’s allegations coming from come from a friend and a trusted person in his National Action Network, Sharpton has since parted ways with the attorney.

“Even if it was consensual, why would he take a key leader of our organization back to his apartment right after a fundraiser?” the MSNBC host asked the Daily News. “It’s disrespectful to our movement, and the women in our network are absolutely outraged.”

For more on Rubenstein’s case, click here and here.

 

(Eric Garner Case Attorney Steps Down Amid Rape Allegations)