In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to ensure that police officers in California and across the country are fully investigated and appropriately charged, if necessary, in the wake of allegations of criminal acts. Because of the outcry over the perception of injustice regarding alleged crimes committed by police officers, prosecutors are now likely to take swift action if allegations are made in order to prevent accusations of preferential treatment. While all claims of crimes deserve a thorough investigation, some police officers could find themselves facing charges for crimes they did not commit. One California police officer now faces sex crimes charges and is likely now determining how best to proceed following his arrest.
The arrest of the 31-year-old former police officer follows the accusations of a woman. According to the woman, she was attacked by the man in her car in the fall of 2015. Prosecutors claim that the ensuing investigation revealed four other victims. The officer was placed on leave by the police department when the allegations became known, and he later resigned.
The man, who is being held on $3 million bail, is accused of crimes that involve five victims and took place from July 2013 to October 2015. He faces multiple charges of sexual battery, rape and kidnapping. The alleged assaults were said to have happened while the man was on duty.
Accusations of sex crimes are serious and must be investigated. However, because of the seriousness of the crimes, it is easy for people in California to forget that those accused of crimes, including police officers, are considered innocent until guilt is proved. In cases such as this, there is often insufficient evidence to meet the high standard of proof required to gain a conviction.
Source: abc7news.com, “Former San Mateo cop accused of sexual assaults on duty arrested“, Vic Lee, July 21, 2016