Atlanta, GA — A disturbing case of police sexual misconduct has been reported out of Georgia this week involving the alleged kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl, her sexual assault which lasted for hours, and stalking and intimidation at the hospital after the girl sought treatment for the injuries sustained during the abuse.
According to Thomas Reynolds, an attorney for the family, the cop stalked the 15-year-old girl after her and her friends left a Waffle House. Reynolds said the group of teens then stopped at Sykes Park in East Point.
When the cop approached the group, he told the three friends with the girl to leave while keeping her, according to Reynolds. The cop said he was detaining the girl because she was out after curfew.
According to the attorney, the officer then took the young girl to the Village Highlands apartment complex and sexually assaulted her for hours. Before he finally brought the girl home, the officer had kept her for a total three hours, according to Reynolds.
Disturbingly enough, after the officer allegedly raped the 15-year-old girl, she went to the hospital to be checked out for injuries sustained during the abuse. As she and her mother were seeing the doctor, according to Reynolds, the cop showed up and stalked them.
The officer's presence was apparently so disturbing that he had to be escorted from the hospital premises by the staff, according to Reynolds.
As WSB-TV reports, East Point Police Chief Tommy Gardner told Channel 2 Action News that his department received a complaint of sexual misconduct against one of its officers, and that officer was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay.
According to the report, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the claims.
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While this officer is certainly innocent until proven guilty, the idea that a police officer would kidnap and rape a 15-year-old girl while on duty is not far-fetched.
As TFTP has previously reported, a probe by the Associated Press revealed that 550 officers were decertified for various sexual assaults, including rape in just one year. Some were dismissed for sodomy or sexual shakedowns, where victims were forced to perform sexual acts to avoid arrest.
A further 440 officers lost their jobs for other sex-related offenses, such as possessing child pornography, being a peeping Tom, sending sexually charged messages to underage teens or having sex while on duty.
About one-third of the officers lost their jobs for committing sexual offenses with juveniles.
Another independent study found that sexual misconduct is the second highest of all complaints nationwide against police officers, representing 9.3 percent in 2010, according to a study by the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.
In 2010, 354 of the 618 complaints involved nonconsensual sexual acts, and over half of those involved were minors.
Perhaps the most chilling aspect of police sexual misconduct is the likelihood of under-reporting. As the case of the NYPD cops intimidating the rape victim shows, police officers stand up for their own—even if it means protecting a rapist. When a person becomes a victim of police sex crimes, how can they be expected to go to the very people who employ their abuser and report it — especially given the fact that it is well known police will go to great lengths to protect their own.
“It’s happening probably in every law enforcement agency across the country,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida, who helped study the problem for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “It’s so underreported and people are scared that if they call and complain about a police officer, they think every other police officer is going to be then out to get them.”
Indeed, as this officer's alleged presence at the hospital in which the girl was being treated illustrates, the intimidation starts right away.