Woman Says She Was Seeking Shelter for Herself, Children
by Ruben Castaneda And Jamie Stockwell, Washington Post
Prince George's County police are investigating allegations that a county
police corporal raped a Hyattsville woman who had asked him to help her
overnight shelter for herself and her children.
The woman, 25, said in an interview yesterday that the assault occurred
early March 31 after she sought help from the officer, who was moonlighting
at a Langley Park restaurant where she used to work. She said she was
looking for a shelter after a fight with her husband.
Instead of helping her find a shelter, the woman said, the officer led
her to his house. She said the officer took her to the basement and raped
her after threatening to kill her children if she did not cooperate. At
time, the woman said, her children were upstairs.
Officials confirmed that they are investigating the woman's allegations.
The woman first discussed the incident publicly in an interview yesterday
WACA (1540 AM), a Spanish-language radio station in Wheaton. She was not
identified during the interview.
The Washington Post does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault
without their consent.
The woman said she wrote down the tag number of the officer's cruiser
used a cell phone to call 911 after she was able to leave the house; a
source familiar with the investigation confirmed the woman's emergency call.
She said she was first interviewed by police and examined at a hospital
the day of the alleged assault.
Acting Prince George's Police Chief Gerald M. Wilson said yesterday that
the department is taking the woman's allegations seriously. The officer
not been suspended and retains full police powers, Wilson said.
"We know who the officer is. We know the incident occurred at his home.
We know they met at the place he was working part time," Wilson said.
Wilson also said: "The issue has become extremely cloudy. We haven't
closed the book on it. Right now, it doesn't appear that the officer did
anything wrong based on what we've been told."
Prince George's State's Attorney Jack B. Johnson said yesterday that
police do not charge the officer, he will conduct a grand jury
"I want to make it clear I will not rely on their decision as to whether
this woman is reliable," Johnson said. "This is a very, very serious
On April 2, Wilson told a reporter that the woman had recanted
allegations that she was raped and said that she and the officer had
The woman yesterday denied doing either. "I've always said I didn't want
to do it," she said.
"I said no, no, no the whole time. I didn't fight because I was
threatened, I knew that if I didn't give in, the lives of my children would
be at stake," the woman said.
The woman, who speaks little English, said Prince George's police have
interviewed her three times, mostly recently Friday with the help of a
Montgomery County officer. Montgomery police said the officer is a certified
Spanish-language translator who provided assistance at the request of Prince
In an interview with The Washington Post, the woman said the events that
led to the alleged attack began when she argued with her husband over
whether he spent too much time playing billiards with friends.
The woman said she gathered her three children, put them in her van and
drove away without a place to go. She said she stopped at the restaurant.
the parking lot there, the woman said, she told the officer she needed to
find a women's shelter. The officer told her to wait there while he dropped
off a woman who was in his cruiser, then returned and told her to follow
him, she said.
The woman said she followed the officer to a house in Bowie, where there
was another man, who she said works as a security guard at the restaurant.
The officer showed her a bedroom on the second floor where he said her
children could stay, the woman said.
Then the officer asked if she wanted to see a shark in a fish tank in
basement. After he showed her the shark, the officer aimed a gun at her
and told her that she had to do what he wanted or he would kill her kids,
the woman said.
The officer then forced her to a couch, took off her clothes and raped
her, she said. The officer allegedly said his housemate wanted to have sex
with her. When he went upstairs, the woman said she put on her clothes,
upstairs crying, gathered her children and left.