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Friday, September 26, 2003
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEA IN NORTH CAROLINA CRIMINAL CIVIL RIGHTS CASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today announced that a former
Fayetteville Police Department officer pleaded guilty in a North Carolina
criminal civil rights case.
Christopher Young pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of North Carolina to one count of deprivation of rights under
color of law. Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting
under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege
protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Young had
been previously charged with sexually assaulting three victims and attempting
to assault two others.
On April 2, 2003, Christopher Young, then an officer with the Fayetteville
Police Department, was charged with five counts of deprivation of rights
under color of law. During April and May of 1998, the defendant allegedly
used his powers as a police officer - including threats of arrest, jail
time or additional charges - to coerce women he stopped or arrested into
having sex with him against their will.
"The Department will continue to prosecute the abuse of power by a small
minority of law enforcement officers to ensure that the trust between
law enforcement and communities remains strong," said R. Alexander Acosta,
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "Today's guilty plea sends
a strong message that police officers who undermine public confidence
in law enforcement by violating the very laws they swore to uphold will
be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Young faces a maximum term imprisonment of ten years, fines up to $250,000
and up to three years of supervised release. The sentencing will be in
accordance with the United States Sentencing Guidelines. In addition to
his guilty plea, Young has also agreed to make restitution to the victims,
waive his right to appeal whatever sentence is imposed, and pay a special
"It is intolerable that any police officer in this country would use his position to extract sexual favors from citizens in his custody," said Frank D. Whitney, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. "We will continue to vigorously prosecute such abuse of power in the future."
Trial attorneys from the Criminal Section of the Justice Department's
Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District
of North Carolina jointly prosecuted this case.
More information about the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division
can be found on the Justice Department's website at www.usdoj.gov/crt/crim/index.html.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.