Sexual assault charges against two former Chicago cops were dropped as part of a plea bargain, in which each one plead guilty to felony official misconduct and was sentenced to two years of probation, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Former police officers Juan Vasquez and Paul Clavijo, both 41, were charged with sexually assaulting a woman while on duty in March, 2011. A second woman then came forward and alleged Clavijo had sexually assaulted her three weeks prior to the alleged rape.
The Chicago Sun Times reported in April, 2011 that at least four additional women had come forward with similar allegations. A third officer, who the Times reported worked with Clavijo and Vasquez on the same night shift, was dismissed at the time for “misconduct.”
Vasquez and Clavijo resigned months ago and have been stripped of their guns and ability to work for the police force. The two do not have to register as sex offenders and have not admitted to any sex crimes. They will not spend any time in prison.
The two officers were working a midnight shift March 30, 2011 in Chicago’s Town Hall District when they spotted a 22-year-old woman crying outside the Addison Red Line metro station, according to court records cited by the Tribune. The woman had been dropped off by a friend and was intoxicated, and the officers offered to give her a ride to her apartment.
The woman sat in the front seat on Clavijo’s lap, and while Vasquez went into a liquor store to buy vodka, Clavijo allegedly sexually assaulted her. At the woman’s apartment, the three of them played strip poker and the woman was allegedly sexually assaulted again.
One of the cops allegedly asked, “Would you like to be tag-teamed by two police officers?”
At some point the woman began pounding on the wall and screaming, and she ran to her neighbors saying she had been raped. Authorities later found Vasquez’s cellphone and other police items in her apartment, according to records cited by the Chicago Tribune.
“The victim believed she could not say no to Clavijo ’s sexual advances and had to do whatever the police officer asked,” authorities said, according to CBS Chicago.
The woman wrote in a statement submitted to the court that the night changed her life, reports the Chicago Tribune. “I hate the fact that these individuals took advantage of their badges,” she wrote. “They are supposed to be the most respected people on the streets and they are criminals. I’m never going to feel truly safe again.”
Legal teams for Clavijo and Vasquez maintain the acts were consensual.
“This was not a case of forced sexual relations,” Clavijo’s attorney, Jed Stone, told CBS Chicago outside the courtroom in May, 2011. “Indiscretions, as our president, Bill Clinton, reminded us, are not crimes.”
The second allegation against Clavijo involved a 26-year old woman who alleged he sexually assaulted her after he and Vasquez picked her up at a bus stop. This charge was also dropped as part of the plea bargain.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez did not release a statement when the deal was struck Jan. 22, but her spokeswoman, Sally Daly, told the Chicago Tribune it was “the best possible outcome” given the circumstances. She added that both victims — who do not currently live in Chicago — supported the agreement.
Sally Daly did not respond to a request for further comment.