A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been arrested after a woman alleged that he groped her and made inappropriate comments during an otherwise routine traffic stop on New Year’s Day.
According to an affidavit acquired by WESH Orlando, the victim and her boyfriend had been ringing in the New Year at a local bar.
The boyfriend flagged the deputy, Matthew Donnelly, down when he noticed that the victim had passed out and may require assistance.
Donnelly placed the boyfriend into the back of his squad car and then went to assist the victim.
The affidavit states that the victim woke up when she heard a male voice that didn’t belong to her boyfriend tell her she was “[expletive] sexy,” and that he “has a wife.”
The victim claims that Donnelly would let the victim’s boyfriend go so long as she didn’t tell anyone about the groping. She told detectives she felt she had no choice but to cooperate.
Sheriff spokesman John Herrell told WESH Orlando that “[w]e’re disheartened. Obviously, it’s discouraging. It’s really hard to see a law enforcement officer get arrested for breaking the law that they themselves are sworn to uphold, but it’s especially hard when it’s one of your own.”
The evidence, Herrell claims, backs up the victim’s story. “The victim’s DNA was found on the steering wheel, his flashlight and the gear shifter knob,” even though there is no evidence that the woman was ever in the deputy’s squad car.
Also, Donnelly’s dashboard camera was turned off for 22 minutes during the encounter.
Watch the WFTV 9 report on the incident below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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