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Fired Texas police officer denies he sexually abused prostitute

Dallas residents might think prostitutes, by the nature of their occupations, are excluded from being victims of unwanted sexual contact. The Texas Penal Code consistently includes lack of consent among descriptions of adult sexual assault. Without permission, sex becomes abuse.

The Fort Worth Police Department recently fired an officer accused of sexually assaulting a prostitute and threatening another with arrest unless she had sex with him.

An internal investigation was begun after colleagues reported last summer they were suspicious about the 33-year-old officer’s activities. The man was watched as he performed his job. Investigators then interviewed prostitutes the officer contacted in the line of duty.

An arrest warrant affidavit said the officer demanded sexual contact from a prostitute in exchange for not taking her to jail. Another prostitute said the officer touched her inappropriately and hurt her by pulling her underwear.

Authorities had enough evidence to arrest the man in October on charges of sexual assault by a public servant. The jail threat allegation led to a charge of official oppression, which is using the "color of office" to mistreat someone or demand sexual favors. In addition, the officer was charged with stealing money from an abandoned vehicle.

A disciplinary letter apparently included a confession by the defendant that he had paid for sex several times after joining the Fort Worth force in 2007. The internal probe uncovered eight charges of officer misconduct.

The defendant denies all charges and is contesting the department’s decision to terminate him. He was released on bail to await trial.

Criminal and civil cases may be brought against defendants who have caused sexual harm. Civil actions are similar to, but not quite the same, as accident liability cases.

A victim of sexual abuse suffers a direct, intentional injury. Secondary defendants can be guilty of neglect, like a school district that fails to act after complaints of a student’s molestation by a teacher.

Source: Star-Telegram, "Fort Worth officer charged with sexual assault is fired by police chief" Deanna Boyd, Jan. 09, 2014

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