Alleged Victim Testifies Against Former Police Officer in Sexual Assault Trial
POSTED: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 6:23pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 2:41pm
EL PASO – It was an emotional day in court as the woman who accuses a former El Paso police officer of sexually assaulting her, testified against him.
The 46-year-old woman, who NewsChannel 9 is not identifying, broke down in tears when she told prosecutors that 29-year-old Zake Rivera forced her to perform oral sex on him in the back seat of a police car.
Rivera's defense attorney doesn't deny that the sex act took place, but argues that it was consensual.
It happened last January, when Rivera and another officer were dispatched to the 46-year-old woman's west El Paso apartment on a domestic disturbance call.
The woman testified Tuesday that she called 911 because her husband had intentionally cut himself with a knife.
When the officers arrived, she said they separated her from her husband. She claims Rivera led her outside to her police car and she sat down in the back seat, with her legs facing out.
The woman testified that Rivera stood against the open car door in front of her and, “he got my head and drew it to his crotch area and his pants were unzipped."
The woman said she performed oral sex on him. Rivera didn't say anything to her before she did it, she said. Prosecutors asked why she didn't fight back.
“He had a gun. He had a tazor. He had a badge. He's doing this to me in the back of his police car. He's supposed to be the law," she testified.
However, on cross-examination, the woman seemed less sure about her story and was unable to remember details about the event when pressed by the defense.
She admitted she told a number of different versions of the story to investigators.
In July, months after the alleged sexual assault, she called 911 and told the operator that Rivera hadn't done anything.
"It didn't happen. It's my fault," she said during the phone call.
The woman said she was drunk and on medication when she placed the call.
The defense also questioned why the woman later made false claims that Rivera's wife, sister and mother had all also assaulted her.
The trial continues tomorrow morning. Stay with ktsm.com for updates from the courtroom.