Posted by: joshjasper | May 21, 2009

Sentencing trial of 2 police officers

You could have heard a pin drop in courtroom #308 yesterday.  Members of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault were asked to attend the sentencing trial of 2 police officers from Creston Iowa that were found guilty of raping a woman in the local country club.  The charge was sexual assault in the 2nd degree, which is a class B felony, and carries a maximum prison term not to exceed 25 years.  We had been informed going into the court room that the defendants were hopeful that the sentencing would be insignificant due to their status in the community, and their lack of a criminal history.

I anxiously waited in my seat as the survivor and her family entered the room.  Shortly thereafter, the 2 police officers were brought into the court room by 4 deputy sheriffs.  The men were dressed in black and white stripes and were cuffed at the hands and feet.  I began to think about what took place the night the assault occurred.  The details were fuzzy, but from what I knew, it was a night that will forever change the survivor’s life.  The youngest officer forced the woman into a back room of the country club and raped her.  The second officer (the Chief of Police), did not rape her, but stood by and caressed the hair of the woman as she was being assaulted, telling her that “everything was okay.”  My mind wandered to the place of trying to understand the officer’s actions that led him to rape a woman, but what about the officer that stood by and did nothing?  What kind of person strokes the hair of a woman while she is being violently raped?  As the officers left the room that night, the chief of police turned back to the woman and threatened her and said “nothing happened here.”

As I sat in my seat and heard the woman’s advocate read her victim impact statement, I couldn’t help but think that there are so many victims in this type of crime.  While the statement was read I could hear young children and women sobbing behind me.  These individuals were not family members of the survivor, but rather, they were the children and wives of the men standing trail.  What woman or child knows that their husband or father is a monster, capable of such crimes?  All they knew was that the person they once trusted is now going to be gone.

Another thing that struck me during this experience was the 8 police officers that attended the trial to support their “fellow officers.”  I watched these men as the sentencing took place to get a feel from where they were coming from, and to try and understand why you would continue to support a colleague that has done something so hideous to another human being.  As the sentence was read, the officers hung their heads, as if to be sorry that the 2 men on trial were not released.

Before the sentence was delivered, the 2 convicted officers were given the opportunity to address the court.  The man that raped the woman stood first, looked at his family and friends and apologized, saying “I am sorry for what I have put you through.  I am not guilty.  I am only guilty of cheating on my wife.”  The second officer then stood, faced his family, and said “Thank you for your support in all of this and I am sorry that you had to endure this.”

Never once did either of these men look at the woman they had assaulted, much less apologize for potentially destroying her life and the lives of her family.

All eyes in the courtroom were on the defendants though when the judge stood, cleared his throat, and sentenced both men to 25 years in prison.

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Responses

  1. 25 years. She will live with this FOREVER. Sickening.

  2. Josh, the day you understand any of these sick behaviors we will all know the world is about to end.

    Thank God there are people like you on the planet who can’t wrap their brain around this incredible level of evil and therefore will continue to fight for it’s victims.

    I am so glad the judge sentenced them the full sentence!

    Peace,
    Jody

  3. I was expecting to feel much more angered after reading this blog. I feel content that “justice” was served at it’s full capacity.

    With people like those at the Riverview Center who take much care to help the women who suffer these horrifying events, I think her recovery will be long and painful yet strengthening.

    Cops don’t do too well in prison my dears!


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