Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Officer La'Cori Johnson Charged with Sexual Assault

La'Cori Johnson, a five-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, was arrested at police headquarters Tuesday, just after he resigned.

He was charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony.

According to the arrest affidavit, the assault occurred September 9, 2013. Johnson detained a woman and a man in the 9200 block of Larga Drive, near Bachman Lake. He ordered the man to leave, but told the woman she had an outstanding warrant.

The affidavit states he ordered her into the back seat of his marked car and when she began to cry, he said, "Why are you crying? You don't have to go to jail if you do what I tell you to do."

According to the affidavit, Johnson drove his squad car a short distance, to a dead end circle in the 3300 block of Storey Drive, behind an apartment complex. The affidavit said he got into the back seat, took off his gun belt, placed it beside them, and raped the woman.

"With any sexual assault, the victim is going to have lasting damage from that attack; but in this particular case, the damage extends beyond the victim, and it impacts the entire public," said Dallas attorney Kimberly Priest Johnson.

She is not directly involved in this case, but is outraged by it, saying it shakes the public trust.

"You know, the public thinks things like, 'Is this person the only Dallas police officer who has done this? Might there be other victims that Johnson has attacked?'"

The affidavit says Johnson dropped off the victim on nearby Clydesdale Drive and she walked home, telling her mother what happened.

Police said the victim reported the incident to them on October 4. Johnson was placed on leave at that time, according to a statement from Dallas police, and a public integrity investigation began.

An internal affairs investigation started January 24. Johnson was questioned by internal affairs Tuesday.

Then he submitted his resignation, was arrested, and booked in jail.

His bond was set at $25,000.

"When it's by a police officer, on a citizen, while that police officer is on duty, in a marked car, pulling someone over, seeking this out, it's at the top of egregiousness," Kimberly Priest Johnson said.

The Dallas Police Department says La'Cori Johnson was hired as an officer in April 2009 and was assigned to the Northwest Patrol Division.