Rapists with a Badge

by Paula Parmeley Carter, Cop Block
Feb. 17, 2011

According to the 3rd Quarter Report of The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project, police officers were accused of sexual assault at a rate of 79 per 100,000 law enforcement personal. That is over two times the rate in the general public (28.7 per 100,000). The fact that rapists seem to be concentrated among a group of armed individuals who have the purported authority to detain and arrest other individuals should be more than a little alarming for even the most prolific police bootlicker. In just the last month, several stories of officers committing disgusting crimes have been in the news.

A Miami-Dade police officer, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation for fondling teenage girls during a traffic stop. After pulling over a vehicle, Officer Rodriguez told the driver to park behind a CVS pharmacy and ordered the five teenage girls inside to exit the vehicle. He then proceeded to touch all five of the girls’ breasts. Three of the girls were 16 and two of the girls were 14. During the investigation, it was concluded that these girls were most likely not his first victims.

A former Fredericktown, Missouri police captain and Boy Scout leader, Kenneth D. Tomlinson II, was sentenced to three consecutive life terms plus 22 years for sexual contact with two boys, beginning when they were 11 and 13 years old. Evidence presented at sentencing included videos from Tomlinson’s computer, including one taken in the shower at a Scout camp. Tomlinson’s attorney asked for a much lighter sentence of 20 years, citing Tomlinson’s many years as a police officer as one of the reasons that he should receive a shorter sentence.

A Houston Police Officer, Abraham Joseph, has been charged with an aggravated sexual assault that allegedly occurred while he was on duty. Officer Joseph has been accused of handcuffing a woman and then raping her on the trunk of his patrol car. He has now been implicated in five other sexual assault cases.

The city of Charlotte, North Carolina will pay a 17 year old victim of former police officer Marcus Jackson, $350,000 to settle her lawsuit against the city. Jackson is now serving a two year sentence for sexually assaulting six women while on duty. The 17 year old victim was assaulted during a traffic stop. She was told by Jackson that she would be written a ticket if she did not perform a sex act on him. Jackson was hired despite previous allegations of violence against women.

A now former Florida Highway Patrol Officer, Ariel Valentin, plead guilty to simple battery and official misconduct in a plea agreement to avoid a trial for sexual battery while in a position of authority. In doing so he avoided a possible 30 year sentence and instead will spend the next five years on probation. He also agreed to never seek employment in law enforcement again. The victim said that after being involved in a car accident, Valentin told the other driver that they could leave and then proceeded to tell her that he needed to search her. She agreed. He then said that he needed to search her further and suggested that they go to her home. There he coerced her into having sex. The victim said she had an expired registration and “was scared of going to jail.”

A Wisconsin state patrolman has been charged with sexual assault of a child for alleged assaults on a foster child in his care. The assaults allegedly began when she was 15 and continued until she was removed from the home this year. She is now 18.

A New Orleans, Louisanna police officer, Henry Hollins, was convicted of attempted aggrevated rape and second degree kidnapping in an apparent case of jury compromise. The victim testified that Hollins stopped her and put her in the back of his patrol car. He then took her to a warehouse and raped her. Hollins’ attorney called the victim a “whore” and “trash” during his closing arguments and pointed to her past criminal and sexual history as evidence that her testimony was unreliable. The prosecutor argued that her past criminal history is exactly why Hollins targeted her. The prosecutor also reminded the jury of the “portable sex kit” in the trunk of his patrol car. The “kit” included sex toys, unused condoms and a bag of used condoms.

A Provo Utah police officer, Jeffery Westerman, was sentenced to 180 day in jail and 3 years probation for fondling a woman in exchange for not arresting her. The incident occurred while Westerman was investigating a minor traffic accident involving two vehicles. He eventually told the other driver that they could leave and then, after performing a field sobriety test on his victim, said that she was intoxicated. He drove her car to a parking lot, searched it, and then told her she would be arrested on felony charges if she did not lift up her shirt so he could fondle her breast. The victim says that she complied because she feared arrest. She said, “If it was anyone other than a police officer I could have turned and walked away. I no longer feel safe in the presence of a police officer. I feel like I’m being stalked whenever I’m with a cop.” The sentencing judge said that “she literally had nowhere to run to. Where could her protection be found when her perpetrator was a police officer?” The victim’s father was disgusted when he learned that Westerman committed his crime while in uniform, calling him “a predator with a badge”.

How is woman supposed to protect herself from a “predator with a badge”? The weapon of choice for many of the above officers was their purported authority. When the perpetrator can threaten you with time in a cage, how likely are you to stand up for yourself? When the perpetrator is armed with a sidearm, pepper spray, a Taser and handcuffs, how is even the toughest person supposed to fight off unwanted advances?

Unfortunately, there may be few things you can do to protect yourself from a rapist with a badge. Even if you successfully resist an attack, you still may end up doing time for “resisting arrest” or assaulting a police officer. You may still be victimized. But, there is one weapon you have at our disposal to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a badged rapist; the video camera. Use it. Every time you interact with a police officer, you should record that interaction. If they want to know why you are recording them, tell them the truth, “I fear for my safety. You could be a rapist.”

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