It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are charged with a crime, there needs to be enough reliable evidence to convince a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed the crime prosecutors are accusing you of. This holds true if you are an ordinary Denver resident or someone in a position of power, like a police officer with the Denver Police Department. Unfortunately for one Denver officer, the prosecutor is trying very hard to sidestep that evidentiary requirement.
The prosecutor is relying on circumstantial evidence to convict a police officer of forcing a woman to have oral sex. The officer had been charged with kidnapping and rape of a 36-year-old woman he had placed under arrest. Though he let her go a short time later, the woman reported that he had driven her through back alleys until they found a quiet spot for her to perform oral sex.
The officer is not denying that he had the woman in custody, or even that he had driven around with her, but he is insistent that he did not rape her. It is also clear that there is no DNA evidence that confirms the fact that he had oral sex with the woman. The prosecutor, however, says that the GPS unit in his vehicle and surveillance show that he had been with her in the back alleyways as she had described.
Being in an alleyway with an individual, however, is not enough to prove that the officer committed a sexual assault. The young officer had already gotten in trouble with his supervising officers once and he says he didn’t want to get in trouble again for not radioing in that he was transporting a female arrestee.
Ultimately, it will come down to a jury to decide whether evidence of physical location is enough to prove that an individual committed rape.
Source: The Denver Post, “Rape case pits video, cop car’s GPS records against dearth of DNA,” Jessica Fender, Dec. 6, 2012
Learn more about the severity of sexual assault charges by visiting our Denver sex crimes page.