In two recent cases, Texas police officers have been accused of using their positions of authority to commit sexual offenses. Both are facing criminal charges and are at risk of losing their jobs.
In addition, both men will likely have to combat a unique charge in their criminal cases. Under Texas law, it is a crime for police officers and other public servants to engage in acts of "official oppression" by using their position of authority to take advantage of another person.
Jacinto City Officer Charged With Child Abuse
In the first case, a Jacinto City police captain is accused of abusing a 13-year-old girl.
According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, the girl's mother contacted the police officer because she thought he could help her daughter with a problem at school. The officer was alone with the girl when he allegedly offered her a pill to help her relax. She claims that he then exposed himself and asked her to engage in sexual activities with him.
Evidence shows that the officer threatened the girl and her family after she told authorities about the sexual abuse.
Brazoria County Deputy Assaults Accident Victim
In the second case, a Brazoria County deputy is accused of sexually assaulting a car accident victim. He had offered to drive the woman to her friend's home, and then allegedly assaulted her after pulling up to the residence.
After an internal investigation backed up the woman's story, the officer was fired from his job. He was ultimately charged with sexual assault and official oppression.
Sexual Assaults by Police Officers
Both cases highlight the unique circumstances that can arise when a police officer or other public official is charged with a sex crime. Officers accused of sex crimes should always be sure to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help protect their rights and their careers.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "2 lawmen accused of using authority for sex acts," Mike Glenn, July 12, 2012.