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False Accusations

More often than not false accusations are filed. I have worked many of those over the years. One particular case late 1990s is a perfect example. At that time I was conducting investigations in the state penal system. A call came to me while I was in the southern part of the state. An inmate claimed an officer had entered his room and forced him to perform oral sex and sodomized him. According to statements by the victim the officer then made him sit on the side of the bed and masturbated until he ejaculated which fell onto the side of the metal bed and onto the floor.

I immediately had the inmate removed from the cell and it was locked. He was transported to a nearby medical facility where he was examined.

Officer Bubba was relieved of duty with pay. He was instructed to be available for interview within one hour, remain at his residence during duty hours, and not to discuss the incident with any employee.

Three hours later I arrive at the center. All major news stations were calling the center along with a national network requesting a statement. This thing was attracting a lot of attention and needed to be put to rest.

I interviewed the attending physician who said he was unable to determine if penetration had occurred. There was no tearing or inflammation to the victim. No unusual bruising was noted nor any other signs of abuse.

I interviewed the victim. He told me that

He had been at the center for approximately two weeks. During that time the Officer Bubba who worked the night shift had been by his room calling him his boy, blowing kisses, and harassing him. The officer had stepped into the cell several times and rubbed his body against him, made sexual remarks, and told him they would have a good time soon. On the night of the assault when the officer made his rounds he told the victim tonight was the night.

A short time later, as the second officer slept, Officer Bubba entered the room. He pulled the alleged victim's underwear down and sodomized him. During the sodomy Officer Bubba put a washcloth into the alleged victim's mouth to keep him from calling for help. He then made the alleged victim perform oral sex on him until he ejaculated. The alleged victim said semen fell to the bed rail and flowed onto the floor. When he was finished Officer Bubba took the alleged victim's underwear and gave him a clean pair. The alleged victim reported the act two days later because, he was scared. By that time the clothing, if it could have been located, had been washed and he had no idea where the washcloth was. He stated that Officer Bubba threatened to kill him if he cried out or told anyone.

While giving the statement the "victim" appeared to be deceptive. His time line was not accurate. There were no camera systems in the center. The log was in order as it should be with exact times the 15 minute checks were done (the checks were logged at different times with a five minute leeway on either side. If they were logged exactly every fifteen minutes I would have questioned the log as those entries would be suspect). His description of what happened was not plausible.

I interviewed the second officer who maintained he did not sleep and, as noted in the log, he and Officer Bubba each conducted cell checks and that Officer Bubba did not do all checks as the victim alleged. He did not see Officer Bubba enter the cell but was not in the position to do so as the layout of the floor did not allow a complete view. However, he said Officer Bubba made the rounds in the regular time; never over ten minutes. Officer Bubba never made any statements about the victim or another inmate.

I interviewed over 20 inmates on the wing. None recalled anything unusual happening on the night in question.

I interview Officer Bubba. He stated that he treated the victim no different than any other - hands off. He denied going into the cell or any other cell alone at night. Although there was no policy against it, he was afraid of an accusation such as this to be leveled at him.

The crime scene investigator arrived on scene. I assisted him. I briefed him on the statements from the victim, Officer Bubba, the second officer, and the statements from the inmates.

Prior to entry the crime scene technician turned a large black light into the room. The room virtually lit up and glowed. There was suspected semen on the floor, walls, bed, bed rail, window, and toilet. More had occurred there than had been told by the victim. The room was processed and samples taken from all of the areas. There was evidence on the bed rail and the floor underneath just as the victim described. All evidence was maintained by the crime scene technician.

At this point in the investigation there was no doubt in my mind that the victim was untruthful. After reviewing my notes and audio recordings closely I re-interviewed the victim. The inconsistencies increased and the story changed dramatically. He could not explain the evidence on the walls, bed, toilet, and floor. He said that the floors had been mopped prior to his outcry. Needless to say I could not believe a word of it. It was quiet evident that Officer Bubba had been falsely accused.

Within two weeks I had polygraphs conducted. The victim failed and Officer Bubba passed. However, due to the seriousness of the case and my belief the Officer Bubba was being truthful I wanted to close this one out with no doubt as to Officer Bubba Bubba’s innocence.

This case occurred over fifteen years ago and DNA was in its infancy. I went to my supervisor and told him the only way to clear this one up would be to utilize the process. Six months and three thousand dollars later we received the news that the only DNA in the room was that of the victim.

I took those extra steps to clear a fellow Officer Bubba. This could have derailed his career and possibly have landed him in prison. You have to do the right thing.