Fairfax County Cop Convicted of Forcibly Sodomizing Ex-Girlfriend

Fairfax County Cop Convicted of Forcibly Sodomizing Ex-Girlfriend
As we've been saying for years, the Fairfax County Police are out of control

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Detroit police officer accused of sexually assaulting domestic violence victim retains new attorney


By Gus Burns 
  
DETROIT, MI - The preliminary hearing for a Detroit police officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman while on a police call at the victim's home was pushed back a week after the officer took on a new attorney.
Officer Deon Nunlee, 40, is accused of assaulting the victim of an alleged domestic dispute. He was scheduled for a preliminary hearing this week, but is now scheduled back in court on April 25, according to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's office.
Nunlee, along with his partner, responded to a domestic dispute at a home on the 16000 block of Asbury in Detroit on Oct. 30. Prosecutors allege Nunlee assaulted the woman after taking her upstairs in the home. Details of the assault have not been made public.
Police Chief James Craig said in March this is not proper protocol for an officer.
Nunlee also allegedly told the woman he would return to her house at 7 a.m. Commander Johnny Thomas of the Process Standards Bureau, the section that reviewed the allegations, said he never returned to the house.
The alleged victim under went a "rape-kit" examination after the Detroit Police Department was notified of the allegations.
Nunlee was suspended without pay after DNA evidence analyzed by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab linked him to the victim, according to prosecutors.
Detroit police say they received the results on Feb. 10, though state police spokesman Shanon Banner said Crime Lab records show results were released more than two weeks earlier on Jan. 22.
Nunlee is charged with three counts of second-degree criminal sexual assault, sexual assault with intent to penetrate and misconduct in office.
He paid $5,000, or 10 percent of the judge-ordered $50,000 surety bond, and was released after his March arraignment.

Nunlee has "minor" infractions in his disciplinary file, "but nothing near this degree," Thomas said last month.

3 more North Port Police officers suspended (Rape)




By Shelby Webb

NORTH PORT - Three more officers have been suspended from the North Port Police Department, but the department's leaders would not say who they are or why they are being investigated.
According to emails obtained by the Herald-Tribune, North Port Police Chief Kevin Vespia notified one officer of his or her paid suspension on March 31 and notified two others on April 10.
In refusing to name the officers, North Port officials cited a Florida law that governs investigations into law enforcement officials. They redacted the officers' names from the emails requested by the Herald-Tribune.
It was that same law the department says prevented authorities from releasing the names of officers Melanie Turner and Ricky Urbina when they were suspended and criminally investigated for allegedly handcuffing a woman at a party and raping her on March 1. Their names were only released on March 20, after a judge signed arrest warrants for both officers.
Other North Port police officers were at that party and it is unclear whether the most recent suspensions are tied to that case.
Turner was arrested on one count of principal to a sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment. She posted bail and remains on unpaid administrative leave as the North Port Police Department conducts an internal investigation into the incident.
Urbina was charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment, but he shot and killed himself March 20 as authorities were on their way to arrest him.
The officers who were recently put on paid suspension were told to turn their badges, identification cards, department vehicles and department-issued fire arms.
Turner has an arraignment hearing scheduled for April 25.



Bail hearing set for ex-cop charged with rape



By Chris Raia

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – A former Pawtucket police officer who resigned last year amid allegations of rape and domestic assault is due back in court on Thursday.
Stephen Ricco, 41, is accused of sexually and physically assaulting his girlfriend last Thanksgiving. He was indicted by a grand jury on one count of first-degree domestic sexual assault, one count of strangulation and two counts of simple domestic assault.
He pleaded not guilty to those charges last week and was ordered held without bail.
Ricco will be back in court Thursday afternoon for a bail hearing.
His alleged victim claims Ricco choked, bit and raped her last November.
Ricco, a 15-year veteran of the Pawtucket Police Department before his retirement last June, faced similar charges last year. He was arrested last February and pleaded no contest last April to a single count of domestic disorderly conduct. A charge of simple assault and two additional counts of domestic disorderly conduct were dismissed by the prosecution.
He was sentenced then to anger management counseling and community service.



San Jose Police Officer Accused of Rape Pleads Not Guilty


A San Jose police officer pleaded not guilty Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court to raping a woman after driving her to a hotel to separate her from her husband in a domestic dispute last September.
Geoffrey Graves, 38, entered the not guilty plea, waived his right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days and Judge Hector Ramon set Graves' next court appearance for May 13.
Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega told Ramon that the prosecution would provide discovery information it has in the case to Graves’ defense lawyer Darlene Bagley by that date.
Graves, wearing a dark suit, answered "not guilty" in answer to Ramon's question about a plea and then left the courtroom accompanied by four people in addition to Bagley, who said her client would have no comment.
The defendant had earlier waived his right to a preliminary hearing within 60 days of his arraignment on the single count of felony forcible rape.
Graves is accused of raping a woman inside her room at a San Jose hotel after he drove her there following an argument that the woman had with her husband last Sept. 22.
The case is now in the discovery phase, the process of gathering and turning over information relevant to the criminal case, Vega said.
The defendant remains free on $100,000 bail since his March 10 arrest. He was arraigned at the Hall of Justice in San Jose on March 24.
Graves' accuser, who is not being identified, did not report the alleged sexual assault until Oct. 15, when she related the incident to police while she was being booked on suspicion of DUI in San Jose, according to Vega.
"During the course of the arrest of the DUI, the statement (about Graves) was made," Vega said.
She pleaded no contest, legally the same as a guilty plea, to the DUI charge in January and received a standard sentence, including serving weekends with a work detail, Vega said.
Her reporting of the rape charge had no impact on the DUI case, Vega said.
"Any notion that she somehow trumped up an accusation like this in an effort to get out a DUI is simply illogical, by the mere fact that at her arraignment, she pled guilty," he said.
Vegas said that the fact that she talked about the alleged rape during her booking on the DUI charge would be "a mere piece of the puzzle" in the sexual assault case.
According to police, at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 22, Graves responded while on duty with a second officer to an argument between the victim and her husband, who both had been consuming alcohol at their San Jose residence.
The female told officers she wanted to spend the night at a hotel where she used to work. Graves drove her there at about 2:30 a.m.
According to prosecutors, Graves returned about 15 minutes later, knocked on the door, went into the room, threw the woman on the bed, took off parts of his uniform and her clothing and raped her.
According to Vega, the officer had phoned in his position to police earlier and then left for about 35 minutes.
Graves, a Gilroy resident has been placed on administrative leave from the San Jose Police Department.
Ramon has ordered Graves not to be within 300 yards of the victim.
If convicted of the charge, Graves could be sentenced to three, six or nine years in prison under state sentencing guidelines, Vega said.



Retired officer’s rape trial comes to an end



Attorneys presented closing arguments Thursday in the trial of a retired police officer accused of raping a child.
Willie Toney is charged with one count of rape first degree and two counts each of sodomy first degree and enticing a child to enter a vehicle, house, etc. for immoral purposes in conjunction with a pair of incidents that took place in early 2008. He was formally charged in August 2012.
The defense presented most of its witnesses Thursday, before resting the case shortly before 4 p.m. The list included former Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and current Troy Police Chief Jimmy Ennis.
Ennis was one of the investigators called upon by then-Chief of Police Anthony Everage to conduct an internal investigation in 2009.
“We included in our investigation that it could not have happened the way it as described on tapes,” Ennis said. “I don’t believe Mr. Toney did it.”
He did say he believed someone had sexually abused the victim. When the prosecution asked why Troy PD had not investigated the crime to find the guilty party, Ennis said it was not Troy’s case. The Alabama Bureau of Investigations was investigating the matter.
Stephanie Billingslea, assistant Attorney General, started the prosecution’s closing arguments by sharing a first-person narrative that summed up what the victim had said since coming forward, including the detailed account of the crimes. Except for some minor details, [the victim’s] story has been consistent for six years, the prosecutor said.
The closing listed what the prosecution had to prove in order to convict Willie Toney of rape first degree: he had to be over the age of 16 and had to engage in a sexual act with someone under age 12. Billingslea called the Troy Police Department a “band of brothers who went through great lengths to protect their brother. That’s not the purpose of an internal investigation. What the Troy Police Department did is a travesty. It’s disgraceful.”
The defense argued that one of the medical exams used as evidence was done in August, 2008, more than five months after the crime. Another issue taken with the state’s case was its unwillingness to turn over a jacket the victim had worn the day of one of the alleged rapes.
The defense then listed what it described as the lies the victim told during interviews conducted by the Child Advocacy Center. “You have to decide who is credible,” said defense attorney Lewis Gillis.
Gillis told the jury that if there were any doubt in their minds, they would have to return a verdict of not guilty.
Arguments lasted past 7 p.m. and the jury opted to start deliberating Thursday night rather than wait until after the holiday weekend.


Former police officer convicted of 2011 murder



Jimmy Dac Ho to be sentenced to life in prison for killing of Boynton escort

By Marc Freeman, Sun Sentinel

Grief-stricken mother Sandi Cooper says she waited three years, two months and 17 days for the justice she finally received Thursday: A Palm Beach County jury found former police officer Jimmy Dac Ho guilty of killing her 29-year-old daughter, Sheri Carter.
Moments after the 12 jurors delivered the first-degree murder verdict and left the courtroom, Cooper stood with Kerry Carter, the victim's father, and thanked the jury and prosecutors Adrienne Ellis and Takisha Richardson.
Then she turned toward Ho, 51, and condemned the former Florida Atlantic University officer who entered Sheri Carter's Boynton Beach apartment on Jan. 31, 2011 to pay for sex, but wound up handcuffing the escort and shooting her twice.
“You made the conscious decision ... to end our daughter's life by brutally torturing and murdering her,” Cooper said. “You, Mr. Ho are not God, so you do not have the right to end her life nor anybody else's. You stole my daughter's future, and you robbed me of mine, my only child.”
The jury's decision followed about 51/2 hours of deliberations, which included watching for the second time a video of Ho's confession to police just hours after the shooting — while Carter still clung to life. The aspiring law school student, who advertised her escort services on the website Backpage.com, was taken off a ventilator and died Feb. 4, 2011.
Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley said Ho will be sentenced May 2 to life in prison for the murder charge. Ho showed no sign of emotion during the reading of the verdict and Carter's parents' remarks; he opted not to testify during his weeklong trial.
The defendant — who last year rejected a plea deal for a 30-year term — also was convicted of kidnapping with a firearm because he handcuffed Carter. That charge will be addressed at the sentencing hearing. The defense already is planning an appeal.
“I thought she was going to go for a knife,” Ho told detectives on the video. He claimed he acted in self-defense, after Carter raged when he changed his mind and refused to pay her $160 for sex that didn't happen.
“I just wanted to come out of there alive because she was going crazy,” Ho said.
Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Ramsey said Ho's revolver accidentally fired during a struggle. She asked the jury to reject a prosecution based entirely on speculation and lacking proof the shooting was premeditated.
“There is nothing in this case [to show] Mr. Ho went there with the intention of kidnapping Ms. Carter or killing her,” Ramsey said.
But Assistant State Attorney Richardson argued the career cop got mad because someone he viewed as a “lowly prostitute” rejected him, so he cuffed her and “pumped two shots into her.”
“It defies logic, reason, common sense to think this was accidental,” Richardson said during closing statements Wednesday. “He most certainly intended her death.”
Kerry Carter told the judge of the joy he experienced watching his daughter take her first breath 32 years ago, and the horror of seeing her “slowly die a horrible death” as a result of a “senseless” shooting.
“There's no amount of punishment that's ever going to bring my daughter back,” he said after the verdict. “But I'm glad to see justice was served here today.”
Carter was raised in Boca Raton and later graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. At the time of her death, she was studying for the Law School Admission Test and charging escort customers for sex to pay for her tuition.
Ho's attorney labeled Carter a “vivacious” prostitute who had plastic surgery, drove a Lexus and owned designer handbags and clothing. No one disputes Ho met Carter through her Internet ad and he was off-duty at the time.
“He was there to have sex with her in exchange for money,” Richardson said.
After the shooting, Ho left Carter's Casa Loma Boulevard residence at 4:56 p.m.; the exact time is known because Ho was seen on video surveillance.
Ho tossed the gun in a canal, drove to his Boynton Beach home, met live-in girlfriend Margarita DeJesus, and they went out for a dinner of nachos, ribs and beer, according to trial testimony. Police used phone records to quickly identify Ho as a suspect.
The now-convicted murderer worked in law enforcement for about 20 years. His career included work for Lauderhill police, and a two-year stint with Broward Sheriff's Office, which fired him in 2004 after he was charged with battery against his wife.
During the trial, Ramsey and Assistant Public Defender Allie Menegakis accused Boynton Beach police of shoddy work, including a failure to recover one of the bullets from Carter's bedroom, and the destruction of video taken of Ho in a police station holding cell.
Prosecutors contended there's nothing on the missing video that would have helped Ho's defense.
And Rob Eichorst, senior crime scene investigator for Boynton Beach Police, testified Tuesday he conducted an exhaustive search for the projectile that hit Carter in the abdomen and exited her body.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Ellis showed the jury the bullet that was recovered from Carter's neck during an autopsy. The jury also got to view Ho's handcuffs and gun.
Cooper, Carter's mother, has filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit seeking damages from FAU.
Attorney Michael Bernstein wrote in the suit that Ho's “actions must be deemed to have occurred within the course and scope of his employment as an FAU police officer.”
The university denied having any liability.
“The actions of Jimmy Dac Ho had nothing to do with his employment with Florida Atlantic University as a police officer and were solely personal in nature,” attorney Stephen F. Radford, Jr., wrote on Feb. 24.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Abusive San Diego Cop Allegedly Protected by Department for Almost 20 Years


San Diego swore in a new police chief last week, and it took about two days for a scandal with 20-year-old roots to explode in the department.
In late 2011, former cop Anthony Arevalos was convicted of sexual battery against 13 women over a period of months. He was sentenced to eight years in jail. The first complaint against him surfaced publicly in March 2011, but testimony in a civil lawsuit against the city this year suggests that police officials knew about Arevalos' assaults dating back 20 years and hid it from prosecutors and the public.
The first allegation against Arevalos came in February 2010 from a woman who said the officer sexually assaulted her. The district attorney declined to file charges in that case, but prosecutors said another woman complained eight months later that Arevalos groped her during a traffic stop. In between the two incidents, the officer continued his behavior.
Arevalos' career ended in March 2011 when he was accused of another assault at a traffic stop. The department fired him and criminal prosecution began. Questions were raised then why Arevalos hadn't been confronted earlier about the string of complaints, but it wasn't until last week that information surfaced that knowledge of the officer's criminal behavior went much further back.
In closed-door testimony in 2012 concerning a civil suit by the 13th victim, former officer Francisco Torres described an alleged 1997 assault in which his partner, Arevalos, forced a woman to have sex with herself using his baton. “He has his Polaroid out and when I got there the female was in the backseat again naked with her handcuffs in front of her and she had the baton.”
“This all could have been stopped years ago,” Torres testified under oath. The ex-officer said he told his superiors about the incident but court records indicated the allegations were not reported to internal affairs, according to the ABC news affiliate in San Diego.
DA investigator Susan Rodriguez told a Voice of San Diego reporter last month that top officials within the police department refused to cooperate with her office after Arevalos was finally arrested. She said they wouldn't conduct a search of Arevalos' home and by the time the DA got access a month later, they feared evidence had been removed.
“This was the first time in my now 28 years in law enforcement that I’d ever seen anything like that,” Rodriguez said in a sworn 2013 deposition. Rodriguez said she suspected that Arevalos' direct superior, Rudy Tai, blocked the search but had no evidence. Tai, who heads the department’s criminal intelligence unit and reports directly to the chief, testified that Arevalos admitted to flirting with women he stopped and was told to cut it out.
Lawyers for the 13th victim want a court-ordered independent monitor appointed to oversee the department. Former Chief William Lansdowne was not receptive to the request, and so far neither is his successor, Shelley Zimmerman. Both favor an outside audit restricted to department handling of misconduct cases.


MORE STRIPPERS ALLEGED POLICE MISCONDUCT


By Pauline Repard

SAN DIEGO — A group of strippers from a second adult entertainment club have filed a claim against San Diego police, alleging their privacy rights were violated in the way vice officers conducted an inspection.
The dancers from Exposé in Kearny Mesa filed the claim on Friday, seeking more than $10,000 in damages for emotional distress and lost income.
The claim, filed by attorney Dan Gilleon, says that on March 6, a half-dozen officers made demeaning comments as they photographed tattoos on the nearly-nude women, and told them to smile and pose in certain ways.
Vice officers went to two other clubs that evening, including Cheetahs, also in Kearny Mesa. Gilleon filed a claim against police on behalf of two dozen strippers from Cheetahs last week, alleging the same type of conduct.
Police spokesman Lt. Kevin Mayer has defended the officers’ actions, saying the license checks were routine and legal. He said dancers agree to random inspections before they can obtain a city adult entertainment license.
Mayer said vice officers keep photos of the dancers’ tattoos on file because the women often change their appearance.
Gilleon said in both claims that the women were against their will for an hour without probable cause that any crime had been committed.
If the city rejects the claims, the women can then file lawsuits seeking monetary damages.
Other San Diego police officers have been accused of sexual misconduct and one faces criminal charges for allegedly frisking several women in an inappropriate, sexual manner. The federal Department of Justice is to conduct an audit of the department's training and supervision policies.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Kansas City police officer convicted of corruption



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A suspended Kansas City police officer has been convicted of one count corruption but found not guilty on four other charges after he was accused of having sex with two women in exchange for not arresting them.
The jury convicted Jeffrey Holmes on Friday of one corruption charge but found him not guilty of four other charges involving corruption and sex-related accusations. The jury also recommended that Holmes be sentenced to 15 days in the county jail and pay an undetermined fine. The Kansas City Star reports that two women accused Holmes of coming to their hotel rooms in 2012, indicating he was going to arrest them for prostitution, but having sex with each of them instead. Holmes has been on unpaid suspension from the department.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Former officer accused of sexual assault


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -
A former Mesa police officer was arrested and accused of sexually assaulting two women inside an art gallery he owns in Old Town Scottsdale.
42-year-old Walter Knox says he was floored when police arrested him for sexual assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Knox has not been charged and he says the alleged victims' claims are bogus and it's all a scam.
The owner of Knox Artifacts near Goldwater and Main Street in Scottsdale was arrested at his high end gallery Thursday.
The alleged victims say a handgun was involved.
"Any incident like that is totally out of whack," said Antonio Mona of Casa de Artistas of Scottsdale.
Fellow gallery owners were taken aback by the allegations.
Knox, who wouldn't talk with us on camera, told us off-camera that he was assaulted in a strip club earlier that night, where he says police identification and prior duty weapon were stolen.
He says a man and the two alleged victims, who claimed to have witnessed that attack, came back to his gallery where he says they tried to get him to invest in a project.
In a police report, Knox admitted to having consensual contact with the women.  He showed us photos of the two alleged victims.  Topless, in the gallery and smiling as they showed off ancient artifacts.
Police say they found meth and suspected cocaine in the back of the gallery, something Knox says the alleged victims left there.  He also claims they stole thousands of dollars from him.
According to the police report, investigators staked out the business for about six hours before arresting Knox as the store closed following an art walk Thursday.
The arrest comes as a shock to others in the high-end art community.
"It's a close knit community of very wonderful people who not only promote the arts, but promote the downtown area of Scottsdale," said Mona.
The alleged victims are 28 and 29-years-old.
Mesa police say Knox took medical retirement in 2005 after serving about 10 years with the department.  They add that retired officers get a police ID saying they're retired officers.  They're also allowed to buy their duty weapon.



Judge Sends Former Cop To Prison For Rape



LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to nine years in prison for raping a woman while on duty and trying to get another to have sex with him.
Twenty-nine-year-old Jose Rigoberto Sanchez was sentenced Friday and ordered to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors say that in 2010, Sanchez stopped a driver in Palmdale who had warrant. Authorities say he offered not to arrest the 24-year-old woman in exchange for sex, then drove her to the desert and raped her.
Prosecutors say two nights later, he solicited a bribe in the form of sex acts from a 36-year-old woman who was suspected of drunken driving.

Sanchez pleaded no contest last month to rape under color of authority and soliciting a bribe.

Former West Sacramento Cop Sentenced to Life in Prison



Scot Murdoch

A former West Sacramento Police officer convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting women while on duty has been sentenced to life in prison.
38-year-old Sergio Alvarez today was handed multiple 25-years-to-life sentences for forced oral copulation and rape; 7 years-to-life terms for kidnapping; more years still for rape and oral copulation under color of authority.
He was convicted of over 18 counts of kidnapping and sexual assault.
Alvarez kidnapped women off the street in 2011 and 2012 while working the graveyard shift, targeting prostitutes and addicts.
His wife had also fled with their three kids.
In a letter to the court, she wrote Alvarez was an out of control man who "became my abuser, not my husband or friend."


Friday, April 4, 2014

Fairfax County Police Watch: Former Mesa cop turned art dealer arrested for sex...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Former Mesa cop turned art dealer arrested for sex...: by Jason Volentine SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A former Mesa cop and Scottsdale ancient art dealer is in trouble, accused of sexual assault...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Suspended Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Assa...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Suspended Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Assa...: BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ A suspended Trumbull police officer has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges that authorities say...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Jury finds veteran Cleveland police officer guilty...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Jury finds veteran Cleveland police officer guilty...:  Rachel Dissell, The Plain Dealer  CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A jury today found veteran Cleveland police officer Gregory Jones guilty o...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Jury finds veteran Cleveland police officer guilty...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Jury finds veteran Cleveland police officer guilty...:  Rachel Dissell, The Plain Dealer  CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A jury today found veteran Cleveland police officer Gregory Jones guilty o...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Former Colville cop Rex Newport sentenced to 29 mo...

Fairfax County Police Watch: Former Colville cop Rex Newport sentenced to 29 mo...: Author: Kylee Cruz COLVILLE, Wash. - Former Colville Police Officer Rex Newport spent 15 years putting countless criminals in ...

Fairfax County Police Watch: 'I'd like an opportunity to prove my innocence': F...

Fairfax County Police Watch: 'I'd like an opportunity to prove my innocence': F...: •           Former Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth, 28, withdrew a plea agreement that would have likely al...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Veteran Cleveland police officer on trial, accused of raping two women


By Rachel Dissell, The Plain Dealer 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The trial of a veteran Cleveland police officer charged with raping two women four years apart started Wednesday.
Gregory Jones, 49, faces multiple charges of rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition.
Jones, an officer of more than 20 years, has maintained his innocence and his attorneys say both woman lack credibility and have told inconsistent stories. Jones has been on inactive duty since his arrest.
The case is being tried in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Steven Gall's courtroom.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Jesse Canonico told the jury that in July of 2012 Jones raped a woman he met through friends while she was visiting from Chicago. He said the woman, then 34, reported the crime to the friends she was visiting, to police and went to the hospital to be examined.
After the crime was reported, Canonico said, the victim told a Cleveland police Internal Affairs investigator that a friend of Jones had offered her money to make the accusations "go away."
The second woman, Canonico said, saw a media report after Jones was arrested and called police to say he had raped her four years earlier.
That woman, he said, did not report the crime in 2008 because she had a drug problem and had engaged in prostitution. Canonico said the woman had been at a party and accepted a ride from Jones, who was in uniform but was in his personal car.
She said Jones told her after raping her, "go ahead and report it nobody will ever take your word against mine."
Defense attorney Steven Bradley told the jury that each of the women had issues of character and credibility that would be pointed out when they testified.
The woman who made the 2012 report had gambling and other financial problems, Bradley said. He acknowledged that Jones had sex with the woman the evening he met her but that she likely felt "used" when she realized he didn't have an interest in a relationship with her.
Bradley said an acquaintance of Jones' did call the woman to offer her money but that Jones did not ask him to do so.
Bradley said the woman who contacted police about the 2008 rape was drunk and high at the time. He said there was no police, medical or forensic evidence to back up her version of events and that she could not pick Jones out of a police lineup.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys say there is connection between the women. The sister of one of the victims is the aunt by marriage of the father of another of the victim's daughters.
Canonico said Cleveland police investigated that connection and found no information had been shared before the reports were made.
He said the women's stories are similar because Jones' "fingerprint" was the same in both cases.
"This trial isn't about the badge," he said. "It's about what he did."
Bradley said the connection is no coincidence.



Maryland Transit Administration police officer charged with rape



An MTA police officer is facing charges after a woman involved in a crash with an MTA bus said he took her home and raped her.
An MTA police officer is facing charges after a woman involved in a crash with an MTA bus said he took her home and raped her.
Investigators said police were called to a home on Duncan Street for a reported rape around 5 a.m. Thursday. The victim told police she had just been raped by a police officer, according to charging documents.
Mobile users tap here for video
The woman was taken to Mercy Medical Center, where detectives took over the investigation.
According to charging documents, the victim told investigators she was driving home around 3 a.m. Thursday when she was struck by an MTA bus in the vicinity of Madison Street and Central Avenue. As a result, uniformed officers responded.
After the accident was investigated, the woman told investigators she got into the back of one of the police officer's marked patrol vehicles, and the officer drove her back to her friend's house on Central Avenue. The victim said although she attempted to reach her friend, the friend did not answer any of her phone calls.
The woman told the officer that her home was nearby, so the officer drove there. Once there, the victim said she walked into her front door and began to close the door, when she noticed the officer making his way in uninvited, according to charging documents.
The officer pushed her onto her living room couch and raped her, according to charging document. The victim said she saw the officer wearing the name tag of Johnson on his uniformed shirt.
After the rape, the officer left her home, and that is when the victim called 911, according to charging documents. She was taken to a hospital.
Investigators said the woman was able to identify MTA Officer Martez Johnson, 26, as the man who raped her. Investigators confirmed Johnson was the officer who responded to the earlier crash, according to charging documents.
Johnson was arrested and charged with second-degree rape and second-degree assault.  Court records show Johnson did not have a criminal record prior to the incident. He was released on bail after his arrest.
MTA officials said he'd been on the job for 20 months.
MTA Police Chief Col. John E. Gavrilis released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying, "We are disheartened and disgusted over the alleged violation that this officer broke the public's trust and harmed an individual. He has been suspended without pay."
No one came to the door at Johnson's Baltimore home Thursday night, but one of his neighbors, who didn't want to be identified, had only good things to say about him.
"He's constantly over here asking, 'Do you need anything? Do you want anything?' He shovels my sidewalk. He's out back shoveling," the neighbor said, dismissing the allegations.  "No. There's no way."
Neighbors on the street told 11 News they're sad and frightened by the incident.
"It could happen to anybody, but that's sad. What's it going to do to her now? What's it going to do to that young girl?" said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified.
Baltimore City police are leading the investigation with the help of the MTA Police.

11 News reporter Kai Reed contributed to this article

Feds probe San Diego police misconduct



SAN DIEGO (AP) — Federal officials are conducting two separate probes into the San Diego Police Department that has been besieged by more than a dozen cases of officer misconduct, ranging from drunken driving to rape, city and federal officials announced Monday.

The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office will be doing a criminal investigation into specific cases, while the Department of Justice will be reviewing about 15 cases of misconduct documented over a three-year period to determine the cause of the problem plaguing the police force in one of the nation's safest cities.

"We believe every rock should be turned over," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told reporters at a joint news conference held by city and federal officials at the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego. "If crimes were committed in addition to those already prosecuted, perpetrators should be brought to justice."

Among the most prominent cases has been the conviction of Officer Anthony Arevalos in 2011 for eliciting sexual favors from women he stopped on traffic violations. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, but a judge last month overturned two of those charges, including sexual battery, and Arevalos will be resentenced. The city has spent $2.3 million to settle 12 of 13 claims tied to the case, Goldsmith said.

Another officer resigned last month after being charged with sexually assaulting four women in his patrol car, and another was under internal investigation after allegations he had touched and exposed himself to women he arrested.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer emphasized that federal officials opened both investigations at the request of the city, which is just emerging from an unrelated sexual misconduct scandal that cut short the term of former Mayor Bob Filner. Faulconer took office earlier this month after a special election that followed Filner's resignation.

Faulconer immediately called for a full investigation and appointed the city's first female police chief after Chief William Landsdowne retired last month, ending 11 years at the helm. Lansdowne had said he was seeking an outside audit of department policies, training and discipline before announcing his retirement.

He also began requiring that all women in custody be accompanied by at least two officers.

Chief Shelley Zimmerman went one step further and began testing the wearing of on-body cameras by officers on the job.

Federal officials will be combing through the department's internal investigations into officer misconduct. The six-to-eight month probe will look at officer conduct on and off the job and could be expanded, said Ron Davis, director of The Justice Department's office of Community Oriented Policing Services, adding that it will be independent, fair and thorough.

The federal government is paying for the assessment, which could cost as much as a quarter-million dollars, Davis said. The city will provide periodic updates on the findings and proposed reforms.

Zimmerman said the force's morale has been boosted because officers know the city is doing everything possible to weed out bad personnel.

"Our entire department feels terrible about this misconduct. We believe that those few officers have betrayed our badge, discredited, dishonored our noble profession. And our officers welcome this," Zimmerman said, adding: "All of us want to know what we can do to prevent hiring somebody that is going to make the terrible decision to discredit our badge."


Grand jury indicts former police officer on rape charges



A judge orders a former Pawtucket police officer held without bail on charges of raping and choking his ex-girlfriend.
North Smithfield police say Stephen Ricco attacked his girlfriend on Thanksgiving Day.
A statewide grand jury on Wednesday reported an indictment against a former Pawtucket police officer accused of raping and choking his girlfriend.
Stephen Ricco, 41, of North Smithfield, was indicted on charges of first-degree domestic sexual assault, one count of strangulation and two counts of simple assault. He is currently held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Providence County Superior Court on April 9.
In January, the woman told a judge during a bail hearing in Kent Country District Court that the couple was enjoying a night out and had some drinks at a bar in North Smithfield when they started arguing.
The woman said Ricco became agitated over a late-night breakfast at Denny's.
The woman said she didn't call 911 or run for help because she was scared. Instead, she went back to Ricco's condo in North Smithfield. She claimed Ricco roughed her up, punched her and raped her.
"I just wanted to go home and he wouldn't let me go home, and he made me have sex with him and he bit my face," the woman told the judge in January.
NBC 10 does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
The woman reported the alleged rape to North Smithfield police the following day.
In 2012, Ricco pleaded no contest to an unrelated charge of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to community service and anger management counseling.


Saturday, March 15, 2014