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Evan Cramer: Taxpayers to foot bill for deputy's defense

Posted at 7:57 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 21:17:45-04

Taxpayers will now foot some of the bill for lawyers to defend a former St. Lucie County deputy on charges he sexually battered three women while on the job.

During Wednesday's hearing, a judge declared Evan Cramer indigent, meaning taxpayers will pay for certain areas of his defense. It will include the cost of a DNA expert and a psychologist the defense asked to hire.

Evan Cramer walked into the courtroom, with a wink and a smile for his loved ones sitting there in support of him.

Shortly after his hearing began, the judge declared Cramer indigent, and said the court will pay for a psychologist to evaluate Cramer.

Three women have come forward, accusing the former St. Lucie deputy of sexually assaulting them, while he was on duty, even negotiating sex acts in exchange for their freedom.

"They're claiming our client took advantage of those complainants and we believe there is a completely different perspective on what their relationship is. And we believe psychological testing of our client might establish or help him establish what HIS perspective of their relationship was which would help then establish what the relationship was from our perspective," said Jason Wandner.

The defense also questions, whether Cramer knew his full rights before talking to investigators. His lawyers say he should have been given what's called a Garrity waiver.

"So, the law mandates that when a police officer is put in the position that he was put in, where he has to give a statement about his conduct, they're obligated to read him a specific warning so he understands his full rights," said Wandner, "including his right to remain silent."

They believe he didn't.

"If they violate it, which we believe they have in this case, then anything he stated during those interviews would be suppressed, not be able to be used by the prosecution," said Wandner.

The defense says they plan to try and have Cramer's initial interrogations with detectives thrown out, at a later date.

The next court date is set for November.