NYPD detective pleads not guilty to public lewdness charges

A New York City police detective accused of flashing young girls in Nassau County has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors charged Robert Francis, 46, with multiple counts of public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child after police say he was caught exposing himself to teens last month in Rockville Centre.

The suspect's attorney, Peter Brill, says police arrested the wrong man as no one has identified Francis as the perpetrator. Brill also says some victims described the suspect as a white male.

Police say Francis confessed to the crimes after being arrested, but Brill contends that the confession was coerced after intense, nonstop interrogation by Rockville Centre detectives.

Rockville Centre Police Commissioner Charles Gennario stands behind his investigators and the case, saying the Francis was treated fairly and allegations that the highly trained NYPD detective cracked under pressure to confess are untrue.

According to police, Francis told them he would park his car in town, blocks away from where he sought out his victims. Police say he also told them that he had behaved similarly in other neighborhoods.

Police have charged Francis in connection with four incidents: one on Feb. 5, two on Feb. 27 and another on March 24. A temporary protection order was given to the five alleged victims.

Francis is a 17-year veteran of the NYPD from Queens. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court next month.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."