FPD Officer Accused of Raping Another Officer

FRESNO, Calif.

The alleged sexual assault happened back in 2010, but it just came to light this year. It took the female officer almost 18 months to come forward, but she says that's because she didn't even know it happened.

The details of an unusual rape case are outlined in a search warrant served at the headquarters of Google. The suspect is a Fresno Police officer. We're not naming him because he's not facing criminal charges at this time. Investigators say the victim is an officer at a different department.

According to the search warrant, the trouble stems from a night the two officers spent drinking at a Northwest Fresno bar in August 2010. The victim told investigators she was very drunk and doesn't remember most of the night. She didn't even know anything was wrong until the Fresno officer's girlfriend told her she saw pictures of the victim and the officer having sexual relations on the officer's computer. She e-mailed three pictures to the victim.

Investigators who looked at the pictures say, "It appears that the female may be unconscious during the sex."

The victim reported it immediately to her police chief, who gave the information to Fresno Police.

"We, at that time, placed the officer on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation and suspended his peace officer powers -- removed his gun and badge from him," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Fresno County sheriff's deputies continued the investigation, searching the officer's home and seizing his computers, looking for more evidence.

Former prosecutor Jeff Hammerschmidt says a suspect's technology can often be the key to a case. "Increasing use of social media has caused many accused to convict themselves by putting things out there -- photos on the Internet or downloading photos on a computer, then thinking they deleted them, but having forensic experts be able to get those photos back," he said.

According to the warrant, that's exactly what happened here. After seizing the officer's computer, a forensic expert found a deleted e-mail containing 36 photos of the victim.

Prosecutors say the case has been at their office since February. It's still pending review.

Chief Dyer tells Action News that no matter what prosecutors decide, it's possible he could still fire the accused officer.

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