Police officer arrested in New Mexico for raping a lady

ISLETA PUEBLO, NM (KRQE) – A New Mexico police officer is behind bars on charges of raping a suspected drunkard while he was taking her to jail. The alleged victim says she feels she has no other choice, fearing he will bring charges or worse. Leon Martin, 22, was arrested Tuesday by the New Mexico State Police. They say Martin, who worked for the Isleta Police Department, admitted too much of what had happened.

The woman reported the attack to the hospital last week and said she was arrested by Martin on Isleta Pueblo for DWI. On the way to jail, she says Martin drove his patrol car into a dark area and asked her to come over to the driver’s side. She says he took off his vest and gun belt and then raped her. Angel Charley, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Indian Women, says that while it is frustrating for someone who has vowed to protect their communities to abuse that power, it is not uncommon.

“Rape is essentially about abuse of power, and that’s essentially what we’re seeing here,” Charley said. “Unfortunately we know that this is common.”

The victim says she was afraid and afraid that if she did not comply, he would shoot her or add additional charges to her DWI case. She says Martin told her in return that he would speak to the judge to reduce her charges and “if they were together longer, she would spend less time in jail and see the judge sooner.” “A few days the victim later told investigators that she tested positive for chlamydia after the attack.

“Sexual misconduct by police officers is the second highest type of misconduct, after police brutality,” said Charley. “We know that cops who do this target the most vulnerable – gender neutral people, in this case someone under the influence, people doing sex work. These are populations that are targeted because they are seen as less credible. “

In an interview with NMSP, Martin admitted having sex with the woman while she was incarcerated, but told them that she initiated the encounter and that he had a mistake in judgment. The alleged victim told police that she recognized Martin from a previous domestic violence incident and that he sent her a message on Facebook afterwards. She says she felt like he was “trying to attack her”.

Vernon Abeita, the governor of Isleta Pueblo, issued a statement confirming that Martin is no longer employed by the pueblo and that they are fully cooperating with the investigation. Martin faces multiple crimes, including criminal sexual penetration, false imprisonment, asking for or receiving a bribe from an officer, and violating ethics. A future court date has not yet been set.

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