Nassau police officer John Ingardia is honored by the Nassau...

Nassau police officer John Ingardia is honored by the Nassau County Legislature as a Top Cop on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Nassau County police officer has been charged with third-degree rape and harassment after he became violent during consensual sex and continued having intercourse with a woman after she asked him to stop, according to a felony indictment.

John Ingardia, 29, who served as an active-duty officer for at least a year after the alleged attack, bit and grabbed the woman and ignored her pleas for him to stop, according to court papers.

“This is too much, I don’t want this,” the woman said several times during the Sept. 29, 2021, alleged assault, according to the felony complaint.

The officer continued the sex act, according to the affidavit of Nassau Det. Mike Kamperveen, then got dressed and left the home where the alleged assault took place.

Ingardia’s lawyer, Ed Sapone, said that his client did nothing wrong and the woman filed the complaint two years after the alleged incident because she lost several rulings in a family court case involving the couple and the child they share.

“This false complaint was made almost two years after the claimed incident,” Sapone said. “The complaint admits to continuing a sexual relationship with Officer Ingardia for three months after the incident, including on the very next day.”

The lawyer said the officer would fight the charge.

“This respected officer is innocent and we are confident that he will be completely exonerated,” Sapone said.

Sapone said the officer remains in the department in good standing.

Ingardia was scheduled to be arraigned Monday after a grand jury voted Dec. 1 to indict him on the charges, but it was postponed because he was having “health issues.”

Nassau County police said that they would not answer questions regarding the case to protect the accuser.

“This arrest is associated with a prior domestic relationship,” Det. Lt. Rich LeBrun, a department spokesman, said. “As such, we cannot provide any further information since we need to protect the identity of the victim.”

In the past, the department has been reluctant to disclose disciplinary problems in its ranks, despite multiple court rulings directing it to do so.

In 2022, the Nassau police department fired Det. Hector Rosario after he faced federal charges of being part of a mob-run illegal gambling operation. The investigator was charged with targeting rival gambling dens for police raids to help his Bonano and Genevese family bosses.

“The Nassau County Police Department continues to have a zero-tolerance approach toward any member of the department who is involved in criminal activity,” Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at the time.

Police misconduct lawsuits have cost Long Island taxpayers $165 million since 2000, according to a recent Newsday investigation.

The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office also declined to comment.

The alleged victim could not be reached for comment. Ingardia was arrested July 12.

After the 2021 sexual encounter, the woman said she was left with bruises, according to a recorded deposition cited by the investigating detective. Kamperveen made passing reference to other evidence gathered in his investigation. 

Ingardia has been a police officer for eight years, according to his lawyer.

Sapone declined to characterize the nature of the relationship between the officer and his accuser before the alleged assault.

During that time, Ingardia remained active for at least a year after the alleged attack, receiving a “top cop” citation for outstanding police work.

The officer and three other members of the department were credited with thwarting a kidnapping by four MS-13 gang members on Aug. 20, 2022, according to a county news release.

The officers saw a driver committing a traffic infraction and pulled him over. When they approached the car, they noticed one of the passengers in the back seat signaling to the officers that he was in trouble. During their investigation, one of the suspects tossed a machete he was carrying and bolted. The officers were able to arrest all of the suspects, who they said had lured the victim to a hotel, assaulted him with the machete handle and stole $300, according to the release. The police department claims that the gang members were going to kill the man because he had seen their faces.

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