Friday, February 26, 2010

Officer Craig Nash Charged with Sexual Assault on Transgender Woman

A San Antonio police officer was arrested Thursday night after a transgendered woman accused him of rape while the officer was on duty, authorities said.

Officer Craig Nash, 39, has been charged with sexual assault and official oppression. Bail was set at $27,500. He was released from Bexar County Jail after posting a bond. Police said Nash does not have a history of disciplinary action. He is the second San Antonio police officer arrested this year.

Last month, Bandera County deputies arrested Joe Angel Serrato, 36, on a charge of driving under the influence.

“This is a slap in the face to every good police officer, every command officer, to the public and to the victim,” said Police Chief William McManus, who was visibly frustrated as he announced Nash's arrest Friday morning. “This is about as hard a slap in the face as you could possibly get.”

McManus said the incident wasn't reflective of the department's culture but was instead the result of a single officer's bad behavior.

Nash, a seven-year police veteran, is accused of picking up the alleged victim shortly after 3 a.m. at Guadalupe and Zarzamora streets on the city's West Side, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The complainant, who authorities say is a prostitute, told police that Nash handcuffed her in the back of a marked patrol car before taking her to an unknown location and forcing her to engage in multiple sexual acts, the affidavit states. Nash reportedly was wearing his police uniform at the time.

The woman told police that after the assault occurred, the suspect dropped her off at a nearby school on Guadalupe Street.

The affidavit states that the woman then took a bus to a police substation to report the incident, telling officers Nash “wasn't going to get away with this.”

The affidavit states the complainant was able to pick Nash out of a police lineup and that police used a Global Positioning System to confirm that Nash's vehicle was in the area at the time of the alleged incident.

Nash has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

“We will not for a second tolerate this or make any excuses on behalf of anyone who is found guilty of misconduct in this department,” McManus said.

At least 10 officers were effectively fired in 2009 from the department on allegations ranging from sexual assaults to indecent exposure to witness tampering. The amount represents more than twice the number of officers placed on indefinite suspension in 2008.

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