Officer suspended amid investigation of traffic stop sex assault

Woman tells police that three-year veteran officer asked woman to perform sex act

July 20, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A city police officer has been suspended with pay as the department investigates a woman's allegation that she was sexually assaulted during a traffic stop last week, officials confirmed Monday night.

The alleged assault occurred Friday night or Saturday morning when the officer was on-duty, with the woman telling police she was asked to perform a sex act to get out of being arrested, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

The officer was not identified pending the outcome of the investigation but was described as a three-year veteran assigned to the Northeastern District.

Sex offense detectives are handling the investigation with oversight from chief of detectives Dean Palmere, Guglielmi said. Once the investigation is complete, police will confer with the state's attorney's office to determine whether to bring criminal charges.

"These allegations are egregious and extremely serious," Guglielmi said.

Guglielmi said investigators are looking at the officer's history and whether he and the woman had previously met.

The allegation recalls a case in Anne Arundel County where a police officer fondled an 18-year-old's breasts and took cell phone camera pictures. The rookie officer, Joseph Francis Mosmiller, was stripped of his badge and convicted of misconduct in office, serving six days in jail.

That woman and another who said Mosmiller also groped her sued the officer in federal court; records show that case was settled for an undisclosed sum in March 2009.

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