New York, NY — Flexing his mighty blue privilege granted to him by his badge, a former NYPD cop was acquitted on felony child rape and sex abuse charges — despite filming the interactions with the 15-year-old victim himself. Instead of going to jail for years, like he should have, this cop will likely escape any actual accountability.
The ex-NYPD Police Officer Raul Olmeda was accused of recording his sexual encounters with the 15-year-old girl on at least five occasions. He was confronted with these videos by investigators and the teen admitted to the acts. These facts were indisputable, yet Olmeda was acquitted.
Instead of facing the time in prison for the felony rape charges, Olmeda was convicted of two petty misdemeanors of official misconduct and witness tampering. The witness tampering stems from the fact that Olmeda told the girl not to testify against him in court. The official misconduct charge was brought on after this cop was caught accessing NYPD computers to see what evidence internal affairs had against him.
Incredibly, he was only found guilty of the very charges which allowed him to silence his victim and give him an upper hand during the trial. It is utter insanity. The two misdemeanors barely carry up to a year in jail.
Even more insane is the fact that his attorney had the audacity to refer to Olmeda as a "victim." You really cannot make this up.
“From the start, Mr. Olmeda was willing to take responsibility for his actions, but he was not willing to plead guilty to charges where he was the victim of a shakedown,” said Peter Brill, Olmeda’s lawyer. “We thank the jury for being able to tell the difference.”
The case against Olmeda began in 2017 when his victim, a 15-year-old girl, was arrested for prostitution. Because children cannot consent to sex with an adult, the idea of charging her with prostitution is wrong from the start. However, during her arrest, the victim told investigators that Olmeda had purchased her for sex on multiple occasions.
When police executed a search warrant on the officer's home and computer, they found the videos and images on his computer and phone. When he was confronted with the videos, he refused to acknowledge that he knew the child. He also refused to identify his bedroom and living room furniture which were seen in the photos.
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Astonishingly enough, the jury bought this denial. But it gets worse.
Despite the existence of the photos and videos found on his devices of a child having sex—a fact no one disputes—Olmeda was not found guilty of child pornography.
Also, despite claiming to investigators that he did not know the 15-year-old child, police found another video in which he was telling the girl to "lay low" as Internal Affairs investigated him.
“Technically you are a minor,” Olmeda told the teen, according to court records. So much for not knowing her.
Even more disturbing is the fact that after the initial raid found all the videos, Olmeda was not fired for seven months. This time allowed him to keep tabs on the Internal Affairs investigation of him. Prosecutors claim that Olmeda was even able to have sex with the teenager two more times after the raid.
Exactly how a jury would acquit a man, especially given the video and photo evidence documenting his crimes, is a tragic mystery. Now, however, the citizens of New York can rest assured that he will likely strike again as he faces less than a year behind bars.
This potential tendency to strike again was also evidenced by the other files investigators reportedly found on his computer named "the list," in which he made a creepy PowerPoint presentation of other women with whom he has allegedly paid to have sex—all while his fiance battled cancer....a real stand up guy indeed.
When a police officer can be caught on video having sex with a child five times and escape the charges for it, we have a serious problem in this country. Olmeda's acquittal shows us just how blinded by the badge some people can become. Given how often police officers are accused of horrifying sexual crimes, many of which are against children, this blindness should have been lifted long ago. However, judging from the lack of time behind bars they are consistently given, we can assume that it is still alive and well.