Sexual Assault: When You Cannot Trust the “Good Guys”

Sexual assault is something that happens every day, but when it occurs at the hands of police officers, it is somehow even worse. And studies show it is not an occasional problem. Officers who are sworn to serve and protect sometimes make victims out of arrestees.  It happens across the country, including right here in California.

Case in Point

An officer has been indicted for assaulting a number of women here in the state. The abuse ranged from instructing a victim to remove her clothes with no legitimate legal reason to forcing victims to have sex, in one instance, after locking his victim in his car and driving to a remote location. If the charges hold, the officer could be spending the rest of his life in prison and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. When individuals in power use the badge to manipulate and harm people, it is a horrendous crime. That is even more true when the victims are children.

WaPo Study

According to a study conducted by the Washington Post, children have been sexually abused by police officers and sheriffs’ deputies in hundreds of situations country-wide. And in many cases, these abusers have used their connections and knowledge of the law to protect themselves from the most serious of consequences. For example:

  • An officer who offered to “help” a 13-year-old run-away and be her mentor wound up ultimately impregnating her.
  • An L.A. County sheriff’s deputy abused a woman he had stopped near a hotel. He was later allowed to become a bureau detective with the special victims unit, where he sexually abused a 15-year-old girl.
  • A 16-year-old who was considering becoming a police officer went on ride-alongs with one officer who sexually abused her in multiple locations. After pleading guilty to statutory sodomy, he received only probation as his sentence. 
  • When a 14-year-old went to the hospital for a rape kit, she wound up being raped again—by the officer in charge.

Officers Groom Teens

In case after case, officers meet troubled teens and spend months grooming them and gaining their trust and the trust of their parents. Then they created situations when they could be alone with the teens and threatened them if they told anyone about what was happening.

Departments Must Do Better

Researchers concluded that police and sheriff departments must be better about flagging issues in officers’ background checks and at responding to complaints when they occur. Additionally, officers must be compelled to report incidents they see or suspect.

Your Legal Advocate

The dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Boertje & Associates will always address every issue surrounding your case in order to seek the best possible outcomes for you. To discuss, schedule a confidential consultation in our San Diego office today.

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