August 29, 2010
THIBODAUX — A Thibodaux Police officer arrested Friday is charged with raping a 22-year-old Nicholls State University student while on duty, according to University Police. Corey Morris, 35, 805 Lafourche St., Thibodaux, is charged with simple rape. He admitted having sex with the woman but told campus police officers the encounter was consensual.
Morris, who was on-duty and in uniform, allegedly raped the intoxicated student after giving her a ride home from a downtown Thibodaux bar in his patrol car, according to a report from the University Police.
In this case, simple rape is defined as sex without consent when the victim is incapable of resistance, such as when that incapacity is caused by an “intoxicating agent” like alcohol. The maximum penalty for simple rape is 25 years in prison without parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
The victim’s name is being withheld because of the nature of the alleged offense.
Nicholls State University Police Sgt. Michael Richard saw a Thibodaux Police car about 1:15 a.m. Friday parked outside Nicholls student apartments off Bowie Road on the east side of campus. The car’s engine was running, and the lights were on, the report says. After determining that no Thibodaux Police had been called to the area, Richard saw Morris walking from the apartments to the car. Morris told Richard he brought an intoxicated student home from downtown, the police report says. Morris also told Richard that he had to sit with the student for a few minutes because she was nauseated. After Morris left, Richard entered the apartment and saw that the student was the only person inside. Richard asked the student if she was OK, and the student said “Yes,” the report says.
After University Police decided to check on the student Friday morning, she told investigators she had a friend ask a Thibodaux Police officer to bring her home. The student said she had never met Morris before. After Morris brought the student to the apartment, he followed her in without being invited, the student said. The student got into bed and was semi-conscious when Morris started having sex with her, the report says. The student said because of her semi-conscious state she was unable to resist Morris.
Morris told investigators he had to help the student to her room because she was intoxicated. He admitted to having sex with her but said she verbally consented. Morris said he became concerned that what he was doing was wrong, so he stopped and left the apartment. Morris was arrested Friday after an interview with Nicholls Police and taken to the Lafourche Parish jail. He was released Saturday after posting a $50,000 bond.
Thibodaux Police Chief Craig Melancon said Morris was immediately suspended and will remain so until a formal internal hearing scheduled for Monday morning. The suspension will be unpaid, Melancon said, unless civil-service regulations prohibit it. Melancon said he knew of no discipline problems during Morris’ 2 1/2 to three years with the department. Morris was heavily involved in the recent Night Out Against Crime initiative, Melancon said, and was “up for a nomination” for employee of the month. Melancon also noted that Morris returned to the department “a few months ago” from a tour of duty in Iraq. Thibodaux Police did not issue a statement about Morris’ arrest earlier because they did not want to interfere with the investigation by University Police, Melancon said. Melancon said he also wanted to ensure Morris was given fair due process.
“If I put something out right now, I’m premature doing that,” Melancon said Saturday night. “What we’ve done is taken the necessary steps to make sure this officer is not working in uniform in color of law, coming into contact with citizens representing the Police Department in any means.”
Morris is the latest area law-enforcement officer to face charges for sexual crimes. On Aug. 10, 2010 Lafourche sheriff’s deputy David Lewellen was charged with aggravated rape. Lewellen has since been fired from his position with the Sheriff’s Office.
Other incidences include a former Nicholls University Police officer charged in 2009 with aggravated rape, a former Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputy charged in 2008 with sexual battery and another Thibodaux Police officer charged in 2007 with aggravated rape.
And though he hasn’t faced criminal charges, Terrebonne sheriff’s deputy Steam Fitch was suspended in July for planning a sexual encounter with an intoxicated woman he pulled over for speeding.
August 12, 2010
A Lafourche sheriff's deputy charged Tuesday with raping a 6-year-old family member confessed to the crime and told investigators he was sexually abused as a child, Sheriff Craig Webre (pictured above) said Wednesday. David Lewellen, who worked as a patrolman and correctional officer during two separate stints with the Sheriff's Office, is accused of having a sexual relationship with the girl that lasted from November until his arrest.
The 33-year-old Thibodaux resident (pictured left) is charged with aggravated rape, the state's most severe sex crime. If convicted he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors can opt to seek the death penalty, though it is rarely done. Lewellen was moved to the St. John the Baptist Parish jail shortly after he was booked in Lafourche. He is being held in lieu of a $250,000 bond. The victim detailed Lewellen's alleged sexual acts in interviews at the Children's Advocacy Center Monday, Webre said. She was not injured, but will be examined for physical evidence that could tie Lewellen to the crimes. “The abuse of any child is a horrendous crime,” Webre said. “Anyone who takes advantage of a child is the most despicable criminal there is.”
Authorities seized Lewellen's personal computer from his home Monday. The computer will be sent to the Attorney General's Office for inspection. He could potentially face child-pornography charges based on the computer's contents, Webre said.
Authorities will also probe the validity of Lewellen's allegations of his own abuse, and could bring charges against his attacker, if one exists, Webre said. At this point, sheriff's investigators do not have the name of that person. Reached by phone Wednesday night, a man who identified himself as Lewellen's father dismissed his son's claims of sexual abuse and his alleged confession.
“He ain't said that,” said the man, who would not give his name. “Somebody's a (expletive) liar.” It is unknown if Lewellen previously told anyone with the Sheriff's Office that he had been sexually abused.
The Mississippi native joined the Lafourche Sheriff's Office in 2002. He moved out of state with his girlfriend in 2004. The couple returned to Louisiana a year later, and he rejoined the Lafourche Sheriff's Office. Lewellen passed a mandatory psychological exam with each hire, Webre said. Lewellen was “an average officer,” Webre added, noting he had been written up five or six times, mostly for traffic violations. Lewellen was involved in two wrecks during his tenure, both of which caused him to lose his departmental driving privileges. His driving mishaps might have been caused by issues with night vision, Webre said.
The first wreck, in which he allegedly hit a bicyclist in Lockport, resulted in a lawsuit. It was dismissed earlier this year and is being settled by insurance companies. Lewellen suffered a broken leg from the second wreck, which happened in December, that relegated him to “light duty” monitoring security cameras inside the Lafourche jail. He held the job until his Tuesday arrest.
The Sheriff's Office investigation began four days earlier, when the victim told a teacher Lewellen had abused her. The teacher contacted the Office of Children's Services. Webre did not release the school's name. Lewellen and his wife were estranged, Webre said. The woman is identified in court papers as Amy Frizzell. The couple have three children, two boys and one girl. Lewellen sought a protective order against his then-girlfriend, Frizzell, in 2006, claiming she threatened to shoot him if came near her or their daughter, according to court papers. It was unclear what became of the protective order.
“They've had a very troubled marriage,” Webre said. Attempts to contact Frizzell's family in Vermont were unsuccessful.
August 11, 2010
THIBODAUX, LA — A veteran Lafourche sheriff's deputy was booked Tuesday night into the jail where he once worked based on allegations that he raped a 6-year-old girl, officials said. David Lewellen, 33, (pictured left) of Thibodaux, is charged with aggravated rape and was being held at the Lafourche jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. He faces life in prison if convicted. The victim told a teacher at school Friday about the alleged inappropriate contact with David Lewellen, Lafourche sheriff's Sgt. Lesley Hill said. Lewellen, an eight-year Sheriff's Office veteran, was arrested following an investigation and has been fired. The girl's name is not being released because of her age and the nature of the alleged crime. Sheriff's officials are not saying whether she is related to Lewellen to avoid providing information that could identify her.
Lafourche Sheriff Craig Webre scheduled a news conference at Sheriff's Office headquarters for 11 a.m. today. Hill said Webre would not comment until the news conference. A man who identified himself as Lewellen's father declined to discuss details. “There's a lot more to it,” the man said, refusing to provide his name. The man added that Lewellen's family stands behind him.
Lewellen worked as a patrol deputy prior to suffering a broken leg in a car wreck, his father said. Hill said the deputy had been on “light duty” since he was hurt in a work-related car-crash in December, though she did not immediately know exactly what the injuries were. Following the wreck, Lewellen was assigned to the jail, where he worked monitoring security cameras, Hill said. “He still can't walk good,” his father said.
His sepia-tinted Facebook profile picture shows the balding, glasses-wearing Lewellen playing guitar. He graduated in 1995 from South Pontotoc (Miss.) Attendance Center, according to his Facebook page. Lewellen's MySpace page lists him as married, a parent and a Lafourche sheriff's deputy since January 2002. But Hill said Sheriff's Office records show Lewellen started with the agency in November 2005.
February 26, 2010
SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio Police arrested an officer from within their own ranks Thursday night. Craig Nash was booked on charges of sexual assault and official oppression. According to an arrest warrant, Nash is accused of raping a transgendered person during his shift Thursday morning. The victim claims the 39-year-old officer was in full uniform and driving a SAPD patrol car before the incident happened.
"This is a slap in the face to every good police officer, to every command officer, and to the public and to the victim," Police Chief William McManus said at a morning news conference. "This is about as hard a slap in the face as you could possibly get." "It's angering and it's frustrating and I'm here to say that we will not tolerate this," he said.
Police said a man came in just before 4:30 a.m. Thursday to report the crime. He allegedly described being sexually assaulted by a suspect driving a police vehicle with lights on the top and a computer in the front seat area. According to the warrant, the victim was at the intersection of Guadalupe and Zarzamora when Nash drove up around 3:15 a.m. Investigators said the officer handcuffed the victim and made him lie down in the back of his police unit, then drove the car to an unknown location. The officer allegedly took the handcuffs off the victim and forced him to perform two sex acts without a condom, police said. The arrest document alleged that when the acts were completed, Nash dropped the victim off at a school on Guadalupe. Nash then reportedly went to his assigned substation at 515 Frio Street.
The victim then took a bus to SAPD's Central substation to file a criminal complaint, according to the warrant. "He's not going to get away with this," the upset alleged victim reportedly told police. Investigators said they were able to use the department's GPS system, which tracks all police vehicles, to validate the victim's allegations. The warrant states that GPS data focused their search on patrol car 7023. According to police, the system showed movements by that SAPD cruiser matched the victim's story.
Detectives eventually showed the transgendered rape victim a photo lineup of suspects. He reportedly pointed to Nash's picture. Nash is out of jail on bonds totaling more than $27,000.
Chief Bill Pooley
February 26, 2010
Riverbank Police Chief Bill Pooley (pictured below, center) took the stand Thursday and denied all of a female clerk's allegations against him in the fourth week of a high-intrigue sexual harassment trial. Pooley said simply, "No," when his attorney, Morin Jacob, asked, "Did you ever sexually harass Lydia Lopez?" She had just finished 40 minutes of marching Pooley through a litany of suggestions that Lopez made it all up.
According to Pooley:
• He worked with Lopez at a drug unit in 2004, but was reassigned to Sheriff's Department patrol Dec. 10 and was asleep about noon Christmas Eve after working a graveyard shift nowhere near the drug unit. Lopez had testified that Pooley that day forced her to grope his crotch and suggested sex in a sergeant's office.
• He never leered at her body or commented on her legs, as she claimed he did in 2006 after he received a promotion to sergeant and returned to the drug unit.
• He whispered no lewd question about oral sex after someone arranged a Betty Boop figurine in a compromising position with a plastic toy soldier on her desk. Pooley testified, "I (said), 'That's how they should recruit for the Army.' It was a joke I made as I was walking away." Lopez laughed, he said.
Pooley, 40, said Lopez, 36, was offended when he once made a "stinky" crack as she applied deodorant at her work station. He apologized and returned later to repeat the apology, he said. Near the beginning of Pooley's testimony, Lopez wordlessly walked across the courtroom to a bailiff's desk next to the six-man, six- woman jury, took a couple of disposable tissues and returned to her seat. She showed no emotion throughout Pool- ey's 40 minutes of denials. His wife was in the audience, as she has been since testimony began Feb. 4, 2010.
Lopez says sheriff's management protected and promoted Pooley while punishing her until she quit under duress in August 2007. She is suing him and the county for "several hundreds of thousands of dollars." Lopez also claims the county made no allowance for her depression disability as required by law.
Earlier Thursday, defense psychiatrist Bernard Rappaport said Lopez likely faked answers during a lengthy examination, because stress indicators were so much higher than when she underwent a similar test only two weeks earlier. "People tend to exaggerate something usually for some secondary gain. In other words, they get something for doing that," Rappaport said, such as escaping jury duty or military service -- or to appear a certain way for a lawsuit. Lopez didn't take doctor- prescribed medication and told him she preferred to conquer depression on her own, Rappaport said. "I don't believe she needs any treatment," he said. Test results indicate Lopez has a dependent personality, blames others for her problems and tends to dwell on them, Rappaport said.
Pooley will face cross-examination from Lopez's lawyer when the trial resumes this morning.
Jaymin Lenwood Murphy
Published December 13, 2010
Updated: December 22, 2010
Jaymin Lenwood Murphy (pictured above, center) of 9586 Old Mill Road in Leland, pleaded guilty Monday in Brunswick County Superior Court to four counts of indecent liberties with a minor, two counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor for taking photos and videos of one of the victims, one count of statutory rape and one count of statutory sex offense. Jaymin Lenwood Murphy leveraged his position of authority – first as a child's caretaker, and then as a Navassa police officer – to coerce two underage girls into having sex with him. In one case in January, Murphy, then a 35-year-old police officer, compelled a 14-year-old girl to have intercourse by telling her it was a component of a criminal investigation that law enforcement refers to as a "pressure test," according to the prosecutor.
Murphy returned on her birthday in January, when he told her that he needed to conduct a "pressure test" to determine if she had been sexually active. On his town-issued cell phone, which was later confiscated by sheriff's investigators, Murphy recorded himself having sex with the teenager. With the victims' families present in the courtroom, Murphy did not offer an explanation for his actions, just answered the judge's questions with a solemn "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am."
On Monday, Murphy, now 36, stood in a Brunswick County courtroom wearing a baggy white and black striped jailhouse jumpsuit with his hands clasped behind his back as he pleaded guilty to one count each of statutory rape and statutory sex offense, two counts of sexual exploitation and four counts of indecent liberties with a minor. Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis sentenced Murphy to a maximum of nearly 41 years in prison and ordered he undergo psychological evaluation and cover any medical bills related to his victims' injuries. He will also undergo a lifetime of GPS monitoring by ankle bracelet and is barred from contacting anyone under 18 years old, though Lewis did carve out an exception allowing Murphy's two children to visit him. As part of the plea arrangement, the judge agreed to dismiss three counts of rape and two counts of indecent liberties with a minor.
Assistant District Attorney Meredith Everhart, the leading prosecutor on Murphy's case, called the sentence "a good resolution for the victims and the whole community." "This saved both victims from having to testify again him," Everhart said. "At the earliest, he'll be 67 years old before he is released, and I'm satisfied with that." Corrupt Justice does not name victims of sex crimes.
During the court hearing, an image of Murphy's sexual predation emerged as Everhart chronicled how he began engaging in intercourse as early as 2005 with a then-girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter. Murphy, while employed as a cab driver and living with his girlfriend, had sex with the pre-teen girl between 35 and 40 times until he moved out in 2007, Everhart said. Murphy was not a police officer at that time. Murphy's first victim was reluctant to disclose the crimes until February 2010. After an investigation by the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, Murphy, of 9586 Old Mill Road in Leland, was charged with first-degree rape of a child. He was arrested on Feb. 18, 2010 suspended from his job at the Navassa Police Department, and held in the county jail.
Amid the media attention surrounding his arrest, a second victim stepped forward, accusing Murphy of sexual exploitation and coercing her into having sex with him on her 14th birthday. Between December 2009 and January 2010, Murphy, then a Navassa police officer, was assigned to investigate whether a relative's boyfriend had sent inappropriate pictures to the victim. Murphy brought the victim into a bedroom and told her that investigators required photos of her to compare to the images sent to her cell phone. So Murphy had the victim remove her clothing so he could take pictures of her genitals and breasts.
February 23, 2010
Additional charges have been filed against a North Carolina police officer arrested last week and accused of a sexual assault on a girl, authorities said in a news release Tuesday. Jaymin Lenwood Murphy an officer in Navassa, N.C., a few miles west of Wilmington, was charged on Thursday after the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office received a report Feb. 15, 2010 from the N.C. Department of Social Services that Murphy had sexually assaulted a child between 2005 and 2007 when he lived at the juvenile's home, the news release stated. The Brunswick County district attorney's office contacted the county Sheriff's Office on Feb. 15, 2010 and asked that investigators look into the allegation, filed with the Navassa Police Department.
The Sheriff's Office charged Murphy with first degree rape of a child on Thursday, the release stated. On Friday, a second girl came forward with a sexual assault allegation against Murphy after learning of his arrest in a news broadcast. Detectives learned that the second girl was the victim in a case Murphy had investigated in December 2009, while he was employed by Navassa Police Department. After an investigation into the second girl's allegation, Murphy also was charged with one count of statutory rape, two counts of statutory sex offense, two counts of exploitation of a minor, and three counts of indecent liberties with a minor. Murphy is currently being held at the Brunswick County Detention Facility in lieu of $1.1 million bail.
Officer Daniel Terry!
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 1:59 PM PST
Updated: Feb 22, 2010 3:01 PM PST
LAFOLLETTE (WCJB) - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and local authorities are investigating a LaFollette police officer on allegations of statutory rape (sex with a minor), officials said Monday. Officer Daniel Terry was suspended without pay on Monday, according to a city administrator. Officer Terry has been under investigation since the TBI learned of the situation Friday, spokeswoman Kristin Helm said. No charges have been filed. The district attorney general has interviewed the alleged victim and family members.
Bevlin Lee Sherrill
February 16, 2010
The State Law Enforcement Division has completed its investigation into a correctional officer with the Georgetown County Detention Center who was fired in December after an investigation revealed he was having a sexual relationship with an inmate, said Lt. Neil Johnson of the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office. Bevlin Lee Sherrill was fired in December after jail officials discovered a letter he wrote to a female inmate in December, Johnson said.
Sherrill (pictured above, center) was charged with first-degree sexual assault with an inmate of a correctional facility and jailed three times in connection with the incident, Johnson said. Sherrill also is facing a misconduct in office charge and is currently free on $40,000 bail, Johnson said. Sheriff Lane Cribb asked State Law Enforcement Division officials to investigate the case after learning of the letter from Sherrill to the inmate. Johnson said jail officials had received allegations of a relationship prior to discovering the letter. Sherrill served with the Georgetown County Detention Center for seven months, Johnson said.
North Myrtle Beach officers'
misogynist talk caught on tape
misogynist talk caught on tape
Monday, Feb. 01, 2010
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH -- A series of recorded statements made by police Maj. Walt Floyd - this city's interim public safety director - include crude sexual remarks about female crime victims and co-workers. Such statements have prompted the executive director of a statewide group that advocates for domestic violence victims to call for an expanded investigation of the department by the State Law Enforcement Division. Vicki Bourus, executive director of the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said she asked SLED director Reggie Lloyd last week to investigate "my generalized concerns about what appears to be a deprecatory environment in that department, particularly for women, as well as attitudes and some comments that are of great concern to me." SLED already has been asked to investigate allegations that William Bailey, the city's former public safety director, covered up a criminal domestic violence investigation because it involved the daughter of a top political supporter of Mayor Marilyn Hatley. Bourus and City Manager John Smithson asked SLED to investigate those allegations earlier this month. SLED has not said whether an investigation is imminent.
Meanwhile, Smithson last week demoted Bailey from public safety director to lieutenant after Bailey admitted he lied to the city manager about the circumstances surrounding the theft of a city-issued police handgun. Bailey also was placed on two weeks of unpaid leave pending SLED's investigation of the alleged coverup. Smithson said further disciplinary action might be taken against Bailey depending on the results of that investigation. Floyd is in charge of the department while the city searches for a new public safety director. "In my letter [to Lloyd], I also mentioned that I was very concerned about the lack of follow through on the criminal domestic violence case," Bourus said. "I've asked for a general investigation of the chief [Bailey] and the environment of the department."
The recordings of conversations with Floyd, Bailey and other city officials were made over the past two years by former police Lt. Randy Fisher, who was forced to resign in November. Smithson has said he cannot comment on the recordings because he has not heard them. Fisher offered to let Smithson listen to the recordings with the director of a local citizen's group but Smithson declined, saying there could be sensitive information on the recordings that should not be heard by a third party.
On one of the recordings, Floyd can be heard disagreeing with Fisher and police Lt. Don Repec about whether criminal sexual conduct charges should be brought against a 17-year-old male who was accused of having sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend. The male had been charged with committing a lewd act on a minor, but Fisher and Repec wanted to ask a judge to upgrade the charges to the more serious violation, according to the recording. Floyd states on the recording that the lieutenants "don't need to charge that boy." Floyd then asks the lieutenants if they ever had sex at that age. "Damn if I wouldn't have screwed her when I was that young," Floyd said on the recording. Floyd then said the girl's parents "need to teach her a little better, then. He didn't rape her."
Repec said on the recording that women should be neutered if they are going to have sex when they can't take care of an unwanted pregnancy. "If you're not able to take care of a consequential responsibility, then you shouldn't be having sex at that time," Repec said on the recording. Repec then describes other sexual acts the girl should have performed instead of intercourse. On another recording, Floyd and the two lieutenants are discussing a female co-worker. Repec said on the recording that he thinks the co-worker is a prude and the type of person "that'll turn the lights off and get under the covers before she'll have sex." "Don't you know you won't cut the lights off," Floyd said on the recording. "If I can't see it, I don't want it." Floyd then makes several sexual comments referring to the co-worker.
On another recording, Floyd talks about a woman who left a voice mail message thanking the department's officers for their help. Floyd then describes the woman, who had made a court appearance the previous day, as having "a bumpy a--."
On another recording, Repec and Floyd are talking about the number of criminal domestic violence cases that have been reported.
"All these criminal domestic violences in here, can the victim advocate start enrolling people in, some of these women, in obedience school so they don't have all these problems with their men," Repec said on the recording. "We probably need to," Floyd said on the recording, in response to Repec's repeated request to enroll the victims in obedience school.
Smithson did not speak specifically about that conversation but said "the city takes criminal domestic violence seriously."
"It also takes seriously its policies dealing with employee conduct," Smithson said in a statement to media. "If the city determines that there has been a breach of its policies, those in violation will be disciplined accordingly." Hatley, in a statement released to area media, said Smithson is responsible for handling any personnel matters. "Other than keeping City Council aware of possible personnel actions, the city manager is responsible for these actions," Hatley said in the statement. "Council does not have the authority to be part of any investigation, and must rely on and trust the manager to do the job that he is required to do."
Smithson also has questioned Fisher's reaction to the conversations he recorded. "Did he object or did he sit quietly and give his tacit approval?" Smithson said. Fisher can be heard on the recording disagreeing with Floyd about the criminal charges involving the 17-year-old male. Fisher did not make sexually suggestive or derogatory comments during the other conversations, but he also did not verbally object to them, according to the recordings.
Other recordings show Fisher repeatedly voiced concerns to Floyd - his immediate supervisor - about unfair treatment of employees in the department. Fisher later met with Steve Thomas, the assistant city manager, to outline his concerns. Fisher told the media that no supervisor ever acted on his complaints. Bourus said the conversations are "indicative of some very discriminatory behavior within that department." Bourus said she is particularly troubled by the attitude toward victims of criminal domestic violence. "The fact that people in that department feel free to say those kinds of things is very alarming," she said. "There does seem to be a culture of discriminatory attitudes toward women both in actions and in words."
A sex discrimination lawsuit filed last year against the city by former police officer Carol Johnson contains similar allegations. Johnson was fired in July 2008 because city officials said she once used the national crime database for personal reasons and once let her child stay at the main fire station barracks while she worked a second job, according to court documents. Johnson claims in her lawsuit that the city did not discipline male officers who committed similar offenses and gave male officers better assignments and promotions. City officials, in court documents, deny the charges. Bonnie Hunt, a North Charleston lawyer who is representing Johnson, said she plans to subpoena 34 current and former city employees for a trial scheduled to begin later this year. Hunt said their testimony will show a pattern of ongoing sex discrimination within the public safety department.
Margaret Forte, the city's paralegal, and public safety officer Dana Griffen are among the list of potential witnesses, according to court documents. They are expected to testify that they heard Bailey "state that he wished he never had to hire another female," according to court documents. Those witnesses and others are expected to testify to other disparaging remarks Bailey has made about female employees, the documents state.
"There's definitely discriminatory behavior that goes on all the time within that department when it comes to women," Hunt said. "They are pretty blatant about the discrimination, unless you have a relationship with someone within the department." Fisher, who was a 12-year veteran with the department, was forced to resign in November after city officials accused him of providing confidential information about an April wildfire to a resident who has been critical of the city's disaster response. Fisher has said he did not release any information. Fisher, who secretly recorded dozens of conversations he had with department and city leaders over the past two years, said he was forced to resign because he complained about preferential treatment Bailey gives to certain employees. Fisher said he recorded the conversations because he felt Bailey was targeting him for dismissal. Johnson is among the employees that Fisher said was treated unfairly, according to the taped conversations obtained by the media.
January 10, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A sixth woman has accused a fired police officer of sexually assaulting women while in uniform, this time after the officer responded to a call for help. A grand jury on Tuesday indicted Marcus Jackson on 11 charges including sexual battery, felonious restraint, and extortion stemming from allegations by the first three women to come forward. Jackson, 26, was being held Wednesday in the Mecklenburg County jail on $423,000 bond. A public defender working on Jackson's case did not respond to a phone message and e-mail seeking comment.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department fired Jackson (pictured left) on Dec. 30, 2009 after two women said they were assaulted after traffic stops. Jackson was hired in September 2008 and had been on patrol in Charlotte's Eastway division since May. Jackson is accused of threatening to arrest a 17-year-old motorist he had pulled over if she did not perform a sex act. Police said the other women claimed they were fondled. The domestic violence call for help came Nov. 29, 2009 but the woman's allegations against Jackson weren't reported to police until Jan. 8, 2010 after other women had come forward, police said Tuesday. "In this instance, Jackson again allegedly used his authority as a police officer to unlawfully fondle another victim," police said in a statement. "We have systematically contacted persons who had contact with Jackson to determine if any misconduct occurred. No new cases have arisen from these contacts."
The grand jury also issued a request for prosecutors to investigate the allegations made by the three remaining women whose allegations haven't resulted in charges. Police acknowledge their background check into Jackson failed to find he had twice been accused of domestic violence that led to judges issuing restraining orders. Jackson should not have been hired after the second domestic violence incident in 2005, Police Chief Rodney Monroe said. Jackson's girlfriend accused him of hitting her in the head and slapping her. Police said they mistakenly thought criminal background checks would also reveal civil restraining orders from a job candidate's past.
One hopeful indication from the charges against an officer accused of committing crimes while in uniform is that the women who have come forward must have been confident the police department would investigate reported assaults, said Vivian Lord, a criminal justice professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. "When you look at the number of victims that came forward with the one officer, they have to feel comfortable enough that the department is going to respond to them," she said.
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