Former East St. Louis Police Officer Sentenced for Obstructing a Federal Civil Rights Investigation
A former East St. Louis police officer was sentenced in US District Court on January 31, 2013, for making false statements to federal investigators, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Ramon Carpenter, 40, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment, was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment and a $400 fine, and was ordered to serve a two year term of supervised release following service of his prison sentence. Carpenter pled guilty in US District Court on September 26, 2012.
Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing established that on May 8, 2012, a female driver was stopped by two East St. Louis police officers while driving home from purchasing liquor at approximately 2:45 AM. At the time of the stop, the driver was driving uninsured on a suspended license while she was under the influence of alcohol and in possession of an open container of alcohol. The driver believed that she was going to be arrested. She was asked to get out of the car, at which time East St. Louis Police Officer Ramon Carpenter purported to conduct a “frisk,” but he actually groped and fondled her in a sexually inappropriate way. She was not arrested. Rather, the officers allowed her to drive her car back to her apartment. The officers followed her, and all three entered her home where the officers discovered that she had left four children, ages 10, 9, 8, and 1, alone in the apartment while she went out to buy liquor. She feared that the Department of Children and Family Services was going to be called. Instead, Officer Carpenter directed the victim to follow him out of the residence and to get into his car. She complied. The officer drove her to an isolated area in Jones Park where he coerced her into performing oral sex upon him. After the sex act was completed, the driver was returned home with no charges
A federal criminal investigation began the next morning when the driver went to the police station to complain. When federal agents interviewed Carpenter, he falsely denied being with the victim in the park and he falsely denied receiving oral sex from her.
“Ramon Carpenter’s outrageous conduct constituted a gross violation of the civil rights of the victim, and further served to undermine public confidence in an agency that is charged with ensuring the safety of the community,” United States Attorney Wigginton said.
The investigation was conducted through the Metro East Public Corruption Task Force by agents from the Internal Revenue Service, the Illinois State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.