SAN JOSE (KCBS) — New details are emerging from the investigation into a San Jose police officer who has been charged with raping a woman in a hotel while on duty, including that the victim was in the country illegally.
The victim, who was allegedly raped by police officer Geoffrey Graves, speaks little English and is in the country without documentation, according the San Jose Mercury News which cites anonymous sources.
Undocumented victims are historically hesitant to come forward when crimes against them occur over fear that their residency status may be compromised. The woman in this case did not come forward until three weeks after the alleged attack.
Immigrant-rights activists said that the allegations are likely to damage the already-shaky trust that exists with local law enforcement.
“It’s a step backwards for trust issues after we’ve worked so closely with the Police Department to break down those barriers,” Jeremy Barousse, a community organizer for the San Jose-based Services Immigrant Rights and Education Network, told the Mercury News.
The incident happened last year on Sept.22 after Graves, along other officers, helped the woman during a domestic disturbance and took to her a hotel. Later, while still on duty, he returned alone to hotel and allegedly raped her.
“If these allegations are proven to be true, the officer will be held accountable for his actions,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol said after news of the incident broke. “This type of behavior is not tolerated in our department, or any department.”
Additionally, sources told the Mercury News that the victims DNA was found on Grave’s bullet-proof vest.
Graves is currently free after posting $100,000 bail.