Charlotte NC March 16 2019
Sex crimes by authority figures including teachers, law enforcement, correction officers and private security have been steadily on the rise and judges are taking notice.
Since the beginning of this year, 73 security officers working at schools, hospitals, prisoner holding facilities and transport services have been charged with sexual assault, rape and related sex crimes.
Frequent arrests of law enforcement and correctional staff are also making news headlines and the courts have begun taking a hard stance on those wearing a badge.
This week, four school security officers were arrested for sexually assaulting students including David Fourier, who is charged with sexually assaulting two students and is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.
In Fresno California, police say 30-year-old Adolfo Sandoval had been grooming his 17-year-old victim for weeks, sending her text messages while he worked as a security guard at Coalinga High School.
“You believe they are safe when they go to school and when you break that trust we frown upon it as law enforcement,” said Police Chief Darren Blevins.
Police found out about the allegations from the suspect’s girlfriend.
She reported Sandoval to police after finding texts between him and an underage student.
Currently, Sandoval has been charged with a misdemeanor crime.
On Thursday, a Harrison Medical Center security guard was accused of trading cigarettes, alcohol and drugs for sex with a teenage girl who was at the hospital because she was suicidal.
Mallillin worked as a security guard watching patients at the hospital who were suicidal, according to charging documents.
Mallillin gave her cigarettes as well as other items, like vodka and Xanax medication “and expected something in return,” according to court documents.
In the archives of our own news department, we found 1177 news articles outlining sex crimes involving police and security officers since 2015.
Earlier this year, a Pennsylvania police officer was charged with raping four women while he was on duty.
Officer Robert Collins, 53, of the Wilkes-Barre Police Department was charged with rape, witness intimidation, and official oppression, among other charges, which stemmed from the alleged assaults of four women between August 2013 and December 2014, and was arrested as his shift ended Tuesday afternoon.
Bail was set at $125,000. Prosecutors allege that after finding evidence of criminal activity, Collins would demand sexual favors in exchange for avoiding arrest.
One woman claimed that after Collins found her carrying heroin, he drove her to a quiet area and directed her to perform oral sex on him. When the act was complete, Collins allegedly told her to “keep your mouth shut or it will (expletive) you in the long run.”
Another officer, this one working in Ogdensburg stands accused of raping a woman, and is now apparently out of a job.
Joseph Pritty, 25, of Potsdam was arrested Saturday and charged with third degree rape.
The sheriff’s department said the alleged incident happened on Mar. 1 in the town of Stockholm.
“Pritty is alleged to have engaged in sexual intercourse with another person (female) without such person’s consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent,” a release from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff Department said.
Ogdensburg city manager Sarah Purdy said Monday that Pritty is no longer employed by the city. She did not elaborate.
An order of protection was issued for the victim.
Pritty was arraigned and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility on $2,500 bail was set at.
He has since posted bail.
George Waters, a former senior manager at private security firm G4S said that people, especially women who are in trouble with the law, become trapped and unable to escape unwanted advances by those in power.
During his employment with G4S, he had to terminate several security officers at a hospital because they were accused of groping a number of female patients who were asleep in their rooms.
Waters said no one, female or male, should be subjected to this type of treatment and the security guards accused of such crimes certainly should not be allowed back into the profession.
This week in Virginia Beach, a former Salem Middle School security assistant who is currently locked up and being held without bond, appeared in court.
Rapheal Shields was fired after the school district said he allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
Records state on November 24, 2018, Shields communicated with a child via an electronic message and requested her to sneak out of her home.
Records state Shields allegedly picked her up and brought her to his house in Virginia Beach and had sex with her.
Shields has been charged with Carnal Knowledge, Schedule I/II Possession, Possession Schedule I/II Drug with Possession Firearm and Electronic Means for Procuring Minors for Obscene Material.
Most states have a separate and independent charge called Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure and can also include rape of woman or men of any age who are under the control of an authority figure including teachers, law enforcement, security and correction officers.
Criminal charges can be filed even when the person is of the consenting age or when they gave consent.
Increased awareness, education and groups such as the #MeToo movement, have helped to escalate the silent abuse of many, often at the hands of those in power.
While many sex crimes still go unreported, advocates urge victims to come forward and to make their voice heard.
Nationally, since the push for better investigations and more cooperation by law enforcement, police chiefs and university public safety agencies have vowed to take each report of abuse seriously and to respond immediately no matter what the circumstances may be.