Authority figures and sexual abuse: Is consent possible?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2020 | Sexual Abuse - Plaintiff

People in positions of authority are expected to respect that they have a measure of control over other people and not to abuse it. Sadly, that does not always happen, and some authority figures take advantage of their positions for their own personal gain. This often raises the question as to whether an individual can truly consent to sexual acts with a person who has authority over him or her or whether it constitutes sexual abuse.

An example from Texas

For instance, an on-duty police officer in one of New Mexico’s neighboring states claims that the sexual activity between him and a woman was consensual. However, his status as a police officer gave him a measure of control over the woman. Even if she agreed to the encounter, the odds are that it was more out of fear than consent.

The officer told the Texas woman to get into his patrol car, drove her to an isolated location and then told her she had an outstanding warrant. He then demanded oral sex. The woman says he then told her to run after placing his hand on his duty firearm. The woman immediately called police to report the incident, which is now under investigation and the suspended officer will most likely lose his job.

Authority figures may take advantage of their positions

However, that may not be enough for the victim of this officer’s sexual abuse. Unfortunately, authority figures here in New Mexico, including police officers, take advantage of their positions as this officer did far more often than anyone would like to admit. Their victims may also decide to pursue justice and recompense for what they have been through at the hands of someone they most likely felt as though they could not say no to.

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