The defendants are the Harris County Constable Office. But who are you supposed to believe? They’re all cops.
So far, it’s just a lawsuit. Still, it’s a federal lawsuit, which gives some beef to the allegations.
Should you believe it? Well, cops are definitely capable of sexual assault. Many cops do it, and not just to their prisoners. It could be that somewhere between 2 percent and 13 percent of all cops might commit sexual assault.
We just don’t actually know how many do it. Because cops hate transparency. And not just the rapists among them. Secrecy and control of information are fundamental, essential characteristics of cop culture. Their chiefs, their sheriffs, their unions all fight it, all the time. The vast majority of all cops hate transparency.
But cops are also trained liars. They do it for a living. Some of them are even skilled at it, I’m sure.
It seems likely that a full 50 percent of America’s cops routinely lie in their reports and testimony. And, probably something close to 85 percent of all cops do it at least sometimes.
So I leave this one to you. I believe the allegations, but read for yourself.
You can find the story here: Harris County constable leaders used ‘bachelor party’ stings to exploit female deputies, lawyer says (houstonchronicle.com)
Or, you can read it from a very local source, for example, here: Deputies accuse Harris County constable of turning stings into ‘booze-fueled playground for sexual exploitation’ (ksat.com)
Or you can read the WAPO story, below.
Or, since the story is being carried by the Associated Press, you can probably find it in just about any other news source in the free world. (Though, it’s not at all clear to me that the free world includes about two thirds of these United States).
In the end, we’ll just have to wait for the outcome. To see how much money passes hands in the settlement, I mean.
From The Washington Post, May 25, 2021:
Female officers were recruited for undercover ‘bachelor parties.’ Instead, they were sexually assaulted, they say.
A federal lawsuit filed by four women claims senior officers with Harris County, Tex., Constable Precinct 1 repeatedly sexually assaulted their female colleagues at fake “bachelor parties” and told them they needed to do “whatever it takes to make an arrest.” (iStock)
May 25, 2021 at 4:45 a.m. PDT
When an officer overseeing the human trafficking unit at a Texas police department interviewed female deputies about participating in undercover operations, he asked them the same question: “Do you have what it takes?”
What it took, the women now claim, was attending fake “bachelor parties” where they were asked to act as prostitutes, wear revealing clothes and drink excessive alcohol in the company of drunk male supervisors.
Those senior officers with Harris County Constable Precinct 1 repeatedly sexually assaulted their female colleagues at the fake parties and told them they would need to do “whatever it takes to make an arrest,” according to a federal lawsuit filed by four women on Monday. (The Washington Post does not name victims of alleged sexual assault.)
The lawsuit against Harris County Constable Alan Rosen, Assistant Chief Chris Gore, and Lt. Shane Rigdon alleges the senior officers handpicked young Latina women with no undercover training to participate in the “bachelor parties,” where they molested them in front of colleagues and supervisors. When the women reported the behavior and asked to be taken off the unit, the lawsuit states, they were demoted and mocked.
“These women wanted to show that they had what it takes to make a difference, but Chief Gore and his lieutenants were really saying, ‘How far are you willing to let us go for these stings?’ ” Bill Ogden, an attorney representing two of the women, told The Post.
Rosen denied the women’s allegations and said an internal investigation he ordered several months ago, which was prompted by a “concern” shared by a “third party,” concluded no policies or laws were violated at the undercover parties, which were meant to catch trafficked sex workers who may lead police to their bosses.
“I have a zero-tolerance stance against sexual assault and sexual harassment and would never allow a hostile work environment as alleged,” Rosen said in a statement.
Neither Gore nor Rigdon immediately responded to messages from The Post by early Tuesday.
Gore recruited the first female officer involved in the lawsuit for undercover operations in 2019, according to the lawsuit. But the alleged abuse began before her first assignment.
She said she was ordered by Gore to buy new and revealing clothes for the sting, and that the senior officer also asked her to send photos of her modeling the clothes. He allegedly texted that one outfit was not provocative enough, the lawsuit states.
Then, Gore allegedly made her try on the dress in his office and ordered her to accompany him to a sex shop where he could “pick out some props” and “work on chemistry with her.” Gore allegedly made inappropriate comments during the shopping trip and told the officer that she was not allowed to work with any other male officers because she was “his.”
While at the parties, the officer said she was repeatedly touched and kissed without her permission. She said Gore, who allegedly only wore boxers and was drunk, would lie on top of the women while fondling their breasts and bodies. Gore and Rigdon, the lawsuit states, also pressured female deputies to drink shots of alcohol to “bond” and “loosen up and have a good time.”
The female officer participated in two operations and then asked to be removed from the undercover team. Her request was granted only after she was ridiculed and denigrated, she said.
Two months later, Gore recruited a second female officer, who said she was asked to perform lap dances for her supervisors. Gore usually removed her bra at the beginning of the parties, the lawsuit states. Once she reported Gore and Rigdon’s behavior, she said she was immediately transferred out of the unit to less prestigious duties.
A third female officer recruited for the operation said that although the undercover parties were “gruesome” and “gut-wrenching,” her worst experience happened in August 2019. She said Rosen ordered her to go undercover to a massage business suspected of sexual assaults “and wait to be sexually assaulted to give the raid signal,” court records state. The officer alleges she was raped at the establishment.
A fourth woman who was hired as a human trafficking advocate reported the alleged abuse the women officers faced to the department’s supervisors in 2020. She said she was asked to keep quiet and was then transferred out of the unit. When she spoke months later to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, she said, she was told the unit had to deal with the complaints internally. She was soon fired.
Dane Schiller, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, told KPRC that her complaint was passed on to the department’s Internal Affairs unit.
The women, who filed the lawsuit seeking monetary damages in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, said at a news conference on Monday that they want the lawsuit to stop a pervasive practice of sexual harassment in law enforcement.
“We are here to speak truth to power so that this never happens to any more women and children ever again,” one of the women told reporters.
After the news conference, Rosen said none of the women ever made a formal complaint about the incidents. The women’s interviews with department investigators contradict the lawsuit’s allegations, he said.
“This lawsuit is an effort to impugn the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Precinct One Constable’s Office,” Rosen said in a statement. “I believe our system of due process works and that justice and truth will prevail as facts in this case come to light.”
Ogden said the sexual harassment the women experienced has “ruined” their personal and professional lives.
“It has affected them for promotions and they have to live with what happened to them,” Ogden told The Post.
He added: “They were not treated as police officers whatsoever. They were treated as objects.”
Andrea Salcedo is a reporter on The Washington Post’s Morning Mix team. Before joining The Post in 2020, she covered breaking news and features for the New York Times metro desk.
From The Tumalo Lookout:
“This lawsuit is an effort to impugn the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Precinct One Constable’s Office.”Harris County Constable Alan Rosen, one of the defendants in the federal lawsuit, quoted by The Washington Post, May 25, 2021
“the good reputation” ?
Of Texas cops ?!