RI officer convicted of raping woman on duty
Marcus Huffman plans to appeal the verdict
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Providence police officer was convicted Thursday of raping a woman in an empty police substation while on duty.
A Providence Superior Court jury found Marcus Huffman guilty of first-degree sexual assault after deliberating for about a day. He was ordered held without bail and faces life in prison. Huffman's lawyer, Robert Caron, said he intends to appeal.
The woman let out a loud sob upon hearing the verdict. The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sex crimes.
The woman, now 22, testified that Huffman raped her in the bathroom of a police substation in March 2007 after picking her up outside a Providence nightclub where she was turned away for being too drunk. She said he then showed up at the hospital to take a report after her aunt called 911.
Huffman's lawyer argued the woman had a consensual sexual encounter with Huffman.
Huffman, a patrolman, has been suspended without pay. A spokeswoman for Mayor David Cicilline did not immediately comment on news of the verdict.
The woman told the jury that after she was turned away from the nightclub, Huffman pulled up alongside her in a marked police car and offered her a ride home. Instead, she said he drove her to an empty police substation and took her into the bathroom, where she says she woke up several hours later with her pants undone and her undergarments removed.
The woman said that she could not remember what happened because she was too drunk, but that she was sore. She identified herself at trial as a lesbian and said she has not had consensual sex with a man since early in high school.
The trial unfolded shortly after several other Providence police officers were charged with other crimes.
One, Detective Robert DeCarlo, was indicted in February on charges that he beat a restrained man with a flashlight. The beating was caught on surveillance video.
Three others, including a narcotics detective and a former driver for Mayor David Cicilline, were arrested last month in a state police drug-dealing investigation that authorities say is continuing.