Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Officer Geoffrey Graves Charged with Forcible Rape
Judge Hector Ramon ordered Geoffrey Evatt Graves to surrender any gun he has to the San Jose Police Department and issued a protective order preventing him from communicating with Graves' female accuser, Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega said.
Graves, who is free on $100,000 bail, was formally arraigned today on a charge of forcible rape in an alleged sexual assault last Sept. 22 of a woman whom Graves had just dropped off at a hotel to separate her and her husband who had been in a domestic dispute.
The officer, a Gilroy resident who is on administrative leave from the Police Department, appeared in court dressed in a dark suit and had his attorney Darlene Bagley speak on his behalf to Ramon.
The judge set a hearing for Graves to enter a plea to the felony charge for April 14 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
The protective or "stay away" order prohibits Graves from being within 300 yards of the victim, who is not being identified, Vega said.
At about 2 a.m. last Sept. 22, Graves responded while on duty with a second officer to an argument between the victim and her husband, who both had been consuming alcohol, at their San Jose residence, according to police.
The woman told officers she wanted to spend the night at a hotel where she once worked and Graves drove her there at about 2:30 a.m.
But according to prosecutors, he returned about 15 minutes later, knocked on the door, went into the room, threw the woman on the bed, took off parts of his uniform and her clothing and raped her.
The officer earlier had called his position in to police and then left for about 35 minutes, according to information from gathered satellite technology, Vega said.
The woman reported the incident to police on Oct. 15 and after a five-month investigation, police developed enough evidence corroborating her story to justify issuing a warrant for Graves' arrest on suspicion of forcible rape on March 10, according to police.
Graves, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail, posted his bail and was released later that day.
If Graves is convicted of the charge, a judge could sentence him to three, six or nine years in prison under state sentencing guidelines, Vega said.
Based on the facts in the case, the district attorney's office would have prosecuted the case to the fullest regardless of who the defendant was, Vega said.
"However, there is a public factor involved," Vega said. "You have a member of our society who has been entrusted to follow the law, to enforce the law and ever since you are born and raised you were told to always obey the police and to do what you were told and they'd be there to help you, and in this case it hasn't."
The Police Department "has been very cooperative" and professional with prosecutors but "isn't happy" about the case, Vega said.
"I know our office and I think the community isn't happy about it," he said. "But I want to assure the community that everything is going to be above board and we are going to handle this like we would any other case."