While most people in positions of authority use their power to ensure the safety and respect of others, that is not always the case. In fact, too often, individuals abuse their power and take advantage of others. In some instances, this can result in victims facing sexual assault and abuse from someone who should have been enforcing laws rather than breaking them.
It was recently reported that a New Mexico police officer was charged after assaulting a woman in his custody. Reports indicated that the male officer had stopped a woman and placed her under arrest for alleged drunk driving. The woman claims that while she was in custody, the officer stopped the police vehicle in a dark area and raped her. She also stated that the officer claimed he would get her charges reduced. The woman later reported the assault at a hospital.
The accused officer reportedly admitted to having sex with the woman but claims that she was the one who offered sex and that he merely had a lapse in judgment. Nonetheless, he is currently facing the following charges:
- False imprisonment
- Criminal sexual penetration
- Ethics violations
- Demanding or receiving a bribe by a public officer
The effects of sexual assault and abuse are not ones that simply go away with time. Though any physical harm done may heal, victims may live with the mental hardships that such abuse can have for years. While the suspect in this New Mexico case is facing criminal charges, it may be worthwhile for other abuse survivors to know that they may have options for pursuing cases against their abusers even if years have passed since the incident.