WASHINGTON – San Antonio Police Department Officer, Dean Gutierrez, was convicted in federal court for violating the civil rights of a private citizen following a traffic stop, the Justice Department announced today.
The jury found Gutierrez guilty of willfully violating the civil rights of the victim, who is transgendered, through aggravated sexual assault. Evidence at trial showed that on June 10, 2005, the defendant stopped the victim and asked whether the victim wanted to go to jail or get in the car with the defendant. The defendant then drove the victim to a remote location, removed the victim from the car, and forced the victim to engage in sexual activity. During this sexual assault, the defendant also physically assaulted the victim. The jury found that the defendant’s conduct amounted to aggravated sexual assault, a felony, that carries a sentence of up to life in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. A sentencing hearing is scheduled on Dec. 1, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. CST before District Court Judge Xavier Rodriguez.
“Law enforcement officers are responsible for protecting citizens. Using one’s official authority to forcibly violate another individual, as the defendant did in this case, is disturbing and abhorrent,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
In announcing the conviction, Assistant Attorney General Kim commended the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the San Antonio Police Department for their work on this investigation and prosecution.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Baumann and Civil Rights Division attorney Jim Felte prosecuted this case for the government.