WASHINGTON – Lance Kendall Bonner of Dallas, Texas, a former police officer with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), pleaded guilty today in federal court to violating the civil rights of a Dallas woman, the Department of Justice announced.
During his guilty plea, Bonner admitted that during the early morning hours of Oct. 10, 2004, he saw the woman at a Dallas convenience store, followed her and arrested her after a traffic stop. Bonner then drove the woman to the Dallas County jail but did not take her inside. Instead, he drove her to an empty DART substation and forced her to engage in sexual acts with him. Bonner then released the woman from custody. Bonner acknowledged that he violated the woman’s constitutional rights and caused her bodily injury.
“I applaud the victim for her courage in coming forward to make this prosecution possible,” said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Although most officers perform their duties honorably, the Department of Justice will prosecute those few who cross the line.”
Richard B. Roper, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said, “The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officials perform their duties with distinction and professionalism, but when officers abuse their authority, and prey upon the public instead of protecting it, this office will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.” Roper continued, “This office will continue to work closely with the DOJ Civil Rights Division and the FBI to investigate police misconduct that undermines public trust and violates these civil rights.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Dallas Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tammy Reno and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Jonathan Skrmetti.