March 30, 2014
Former Officer Accepts Plea Bargain in Sexual Assault Case
By Jonathan Damashek
After allegations of rape made against him were dropped, a police sergeant pleaded guilty of official misconduct in a plea deal. The man was accused of raping a seventeen-year-old girl hours after arresting her boyfriend. After pleading guilty to official misconduct and a misdemeanor, he was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge. This sentence is similar to a year of probation. Additionally, the man was ordered to stay away from the victim for five years.
According to sources, the man could have faced a one year of incarceration. Months after the incident, the officer resigned from his job as a police officer in New Rochelle. The Police Commissioner said, “His resignation was the logical thing to do, “I guess it was a fait accomplish. If you’re going to plea to a misdemeanor, you job is over here anyway, so why go through the charade?” The Assistant District Attorney told City Judge John P. Colangelo that, after investigation, the man’s charges were lowered to misconduct.
The Assistant District Attorney said that the officer was “acting without authorization of the Police Department,” and that the former officer “used his authority as a police officer to engage in sexual conduct with the complainant.” The man’s attorney said, “He’s doing what’s best for his wife and family. It’s what we said from the beginning. It was in no sense rap, in any shape or form.” The former officer and his wife – a local TV news anchor – have three teenage daughters.
The lead investigator described the outcome of the case as sufficient, but didn’t agree the decision. “I can’t say I am happy with the charge,” he said. Attorney Jonathan Damasheck, who is representing the victim, said that “Mr. Rodriguez and his wife have been paraded on TV, saying how innocent he was and what a family man he is. This shows he was lying. He preyed on a young victim of domestic violence. Just because he took a plea doesn’t mean didn’t rape her.”