I understand that we may be dealing with legal distinctions and the names of various charges, but I really don't see how this is anything other than rape.
DAVIE - Strapping a gun to your side and coercing a woman to perform a sex act is usually called sexual battery. Doing it to an intoxicated woman while on duty and wearing your police uniform can lead to abuse-of-power charges and years behind bars.There doesn't seem to be any disagreement over the nature of what happened in this case--in fact, the article itself says that "Police deleted the woman's name from all records because the crime is considered rape." So why not call it that all the way through the article?
But that's nothing compared to the real outrage in the article. Here's the basics of the story.
For this, Sanders pled no contest in May to unlawful compensation, spent 60 days in jail on a 90-day sentence and was not formally designated a felon. And why? (Warning--if you haven't been triggered by this story already, you may be now.)
The woman, who admitted to being "quite tipsy," said Sanders told her "You don't want to be any trouble, do you? I need you to do me a favor," and then exposed himself.
The woman said she felt she would be jailed if she refused his advances.
After the encounter, Sanders gave the woman $5 and threatened to arrest her if she told anyone what happened, she said.
Thirty minutes later, he approached the woman again while she was walking along Southwest 39th Street and told her to meet him at the Bergeron Rodeo Arena. She said she worried he might arrest her if she didn't show up. At the arena, she said, he told her "I want some more" and unzipped his pants.
The woman said she felt she had no choice but to follow the officer's orders again.
"It seemed like it was either that or go to jail," she told detectives.
Prosecutor Michael Horowitz acknowledged the woman had committed no crime and could not legally have been arrested, despite Sanders' threats.Yep. Blaming the victim. Never mind that a cop--a person who is supposed to "protect and serve"--abused his power to an extraordinary degree. No, what came into play was that she had been drinking all day.
He said his office agreed to the plea based on a review of all the evidence – including the fact the victim had been drinking all day and taking the drug methadone to treat an addiction. The difficulty of proving sexual battery led to the felony plea and ensured Sanders would never again work as a police officer, he said.
No. If anything, that makes Sanders' actions even more heinous, because he took advantage of a person who was in even less of a position to defend herself, and he's been aided and abetted by the Davie Police Department and the prosecutors who refused to take this case where it should have gone.
The victim is suing, and I hope she wins.