Chattanooga, TN – A fellow officer is among the witnesses who have come forward to testify against a police officer who is accused of sexually assaulting multiple women while on the job, and the police department’s claim that the abuse was never reported is raising questions about whether a cover-up was attempted behind the scenes.
Officer Desmond Logan is being investigated after the sexual misconduct allegations against him allege that he brutally raped multiple women in the community he was supposed to be “protecting and serving.”
The investigation began after Logan was accused of sexually assaulting a woman last month, and when police began looking into it, they found that there were allegations of a similar assault three years ago. According to a report from the Times Free Press, a current police officer and a separate source asserted that Logan was accused of raping a woman while on duty in 2015, and that “department leadership knew about that allegation.”
An unnamed officer said that as soon as word got out that Logan was being accused of sexual assault, fellow officers at the department realized this was not the first time he has been accused. “It echoed back to the last time when they didn’t act on this kid [Logan]. They knowingly allowed a predator to keep that uniform on,” the officer said.
A woman said she was walking home from a friend’s house, late at night, in May 2015 when a police officer pulled up alongside her and began asking her questions and claiming she was stumbling. The woman maintained that she had not been drinking and was not on any drugs, but she told the Times Free Press that the officer then insisted that he was trying to help her because the area was not safe, and then suddenly claimed she was under arrest:
The officer changed his message. He told her there had been rapes in the area and he was looking out for her. Then, he became agitated. He told her she was being arrested and handcuffed her. She asked why and told him she had done nothing wrong. He placed her in the front seat of his car, she said and drove. She said the officer told her his name was “Officer Tate,” but his name tag said “Logan.” …He eventually turned into a business parking lot on Rossville Boulevard. She thought he was going to remove the handcuffs and let her go. Instead, he pushed her into the back seat and raped her, she said. The officer repeatedly told her not to tell anyone.
The woman said Officer Logan then “acted like nothing had happened,” and went on to drop her off at her brother’s house. She said she called the police to report the assault, but was instructed to go to the hospital where she was tested for a rape kit and she provided a written account of the assault. She was told an investigation would be conducted, but years passed before she was contacted again.
Fast-forward to 2018, and Officer Logan has been accused of carrying out a similar assault on the night of June 13. The woman said the officer approached her and told her that she was under arrest but did not provide a reason, and then he put her in handcuffs and drove to a parking lot where he raped her.
An attorney for the second victim, Chad Phillips, told WRBC TV that the woman was terrified to report the assault because the perpetrator was a police officer, and she was concerned that she and her family would be subject to backlash from the officer and the department. In a statement, Phillips said:
“These allegations are truly concerning; as is the severe emotional distress our client continues to endure. Our hearts are heavy with grief for her and her family. Victims of sex crimes and their families are often scared to report a crime to police without fully understanding their rights and the legal process. Pursuing civil claims and criminal charges are two of the many options in ensuring a victim’s safety, punishing those responsible, and making the victim whole. We are currently conducting our own investigation. “
Not only did the Chattanooga Police Department not follow through with an investigation the first time Logan was accused of sexual assault, but Chief David Roddy claimed that the incident from last month was the first time Logan had ever been accused of sexual assault, and a copy of Logan’s personnel file obtained by the Times Free Press showed that the complaints from 2015 are not even listed.
The fact that Desmond Logan is accused of using his power as a police officer to kidnap and rape one woman is disturbing, but the fact that he was accused of doing the same thing and subjecting at least one other victim to the same torture, and his department’s failure to act on it allowed his criminal behavior to continue, is abhorrent.
As The Free Thought Project has reported, this type of treatment is nothing new. A 2016 study exposed the startling fact that police officers are arrested about 1,100 times a year, or roughly three officers charged every day. Many of these arrests are over unspeakable sex crimes that ruin the lives of children, women, and men across the country. Often, police officers commit multiple sexual assaults before they are finally caught, investigated and charged for their heinous crimes.