Thursday, November 15, 2007

Assault Alleged at Hospital

By T.J. Wilham, Journal Staff Writer

A woman who has accused an Albuquerque police officer of raping her while she was in custody says he assaulted her at the hospital while she waited to be treated by doctors, according to documents unsealed Wednesday.
She said he later drove her to a baseball field, where he assaulted her twice more before taking her to jail.
Patrol officer David Maes, 28, was arrested Oct. 11, six days after the woman told correctional officers that she had been raped by Maes while he was transporting her to jail, police said.
"We have not unfounded or discounted her claims at this point," Police Chief Ray Schultz said Wednesday. "We are continuing our investigation."
He said his investigators have obtained video surveillance taken from the hospital that supports some of the woman's claims. The woman was at the hospital for possible injuries after being in a car crash.
Maes, who has been with the Police Department for two years, has been charged with criminal sexual penetration. He was released from the Metropolitan Detention Center the day after his arrest, after he posted $200,000 bail.
He remains on paid administrative leave.
As part of the criminal investigation, Maes' DNA is being compared with samples taken from the woman.
At the time of his arrest, a warrant detailing the allegations against Maes was sealed. On Wednesday, the District Attorney's Office agreed that the documents could be unsealed after a request from the Journal, KOAT-TV and KRQE-TV. Judge Denise Barela Shepherd signed an order unsealing the documents.
According to those documents:
On Oct. 4, the woman was riding in a stolen car that was involved in a crash at San Mateo and Gibson SE.
After the collision, the passengers in the stolen car ran away. Police caught the woman, arrested her and took her into custody for questioning.
While auto theft detectives questioned her, she complained that her vision was blurry. An ambulance was called, and she was taken Downtown to Lovelace Hospital for treatment.
While she waited for physicians, Maes was called to watch her at the hospital.
The woman claims that while Maes was watching her, he "immediately started making nasty and rude gestures to her."
"I didn't know to take him seriously," the woman told investigators. "He's an officer that has authority over me. After a while, I realized he wasn't playing no more, then it started to get a little bit scary."
At one point he told the woman that he wanted her to perform oral sex on him.
Maes pulled a privacy curtain shut, exposed himself, and performed a sex act on her, the woman claimed.
After the woman was treated at the hospital, Maes took the woman to her home so she could change clothes, she told investigators.
Doing so would be a direct violation of APD policies, Schultz said Wednesday.
"A prisoner is supposed to go to one place, and that is either the transport center or the jail," Schultz said.
According to documents, Maes then drove the woman to a baseball field near Locust and Odelia, where he sexually assaulted her twice outside his police cruiser, she told police.
Afterward, Maes drove back to the hospital. Once he was in front of the building, he radioed a dispatcher, said he was transporting a prisoner and gave his mileage.
Officers routinely call out when they are transporting prisoners to avoid false accusations such as sexual assaults or brutality claims.
Schultz said that he will make a decision on what discipline action, if any, should be taken against Maes once his department completes an internal affairs investigation.
Prosecutors have not presented the case to a grand jury.