District Attorney Discusses Indictment Against Munoz


POSTED: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 6:20pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 9:23am

It took police and the district attorney's office almost an entire year to indict police officer Mark Munoz in a sexual assault case. Today we ask attorney Jaime Esparza why the case wasn't filed until October, when police presented their case in March.

"There is actually no normal time frame," Esparza said. "Each case is different."

We asked Esparza why, once police presented their investigation to his office, it took seven months to indict police officer Mark Munoz.

"We were reviewing the case of course, subpoenaing grand jury records, still talking to witnesses."

Last November, one woman filed a police report accusing Munoz of sexually assaulting her while she unconscious.

Investigators found vomit, urine, and half-digested pills in her car. The victim says a rape kit was administered, where they found that she had vaginal abrasions. But she says a toxicology test was never done, despite telling police she felt like she may have been drugged. Police presented their findings to the DA's office in March - five months after the victim went to police. Then, the DA's office didn't indict Munoz until mid-October - seven months later.

"I've reviewed what the prosecutors have done in this case and they were working on the case and when they felt it was right to make a presentation to a grand jury, they did so," Esparza said.

Esparza also says despite being on the same side of the courtroom as the police, his office will not bring in a special prosecutor in the case of Munoz, or any other case against a police officer.

"It's true that we work with a police officers on a daily basis but it's also our job to prosecute all crimes in the community," Esparza.

He says he can't remember a case involving an accused police officer where they did bring in a special prosecutor. Munoz' trial has been set for February, but there's no guarantee that his trial will actually start then, because other cases could be scheduled for that day, too. Esparza says even though the defendant is a cop, his office won't treat it any differently.

"It will be treated just as any other case," Esparza said.

Munoz was taken off foot patrol last month and is still on the force. We called several district attorneys offices in Texas and found that San Antonio and Fort Worth also do not hire special prosecutors when the defendant is a cop.

Comments News Comments

I would like to know why KTSM used footage from fallen Officer McDonough on this report. You should be ashamed!If this "victim" was unconscious, how does she know who assaulted her, or if assaulted at all? With a finger? Come on! @ "Tiger" are you really that stupid? District attorneys offices do not have contracts with police departments! They prosecute ALL crimes in their county(EPPD, S.O.,TROOPERS,EPISD POLICE, SOCORRO PD, HORIZON,etc).

You can all send the Dept of Justice letters, outlining all ur issues and asking them to come to El Paso and do an investigation!

Lindsey, where is the DA, Internal Affirs, The Payasos Union, The Payasos spokesperson on this, and all the ongoing allegations? Keep us posted, and dont speed.

The two officers involved in my daughter's case also had previous citizen complaints. In both their records there are two incidents with two different women involving both of the same officers. Both of these complaints are coded the same as in my daughters case. The EPPD would never tell us what the coding meant, but I know what my daughter filed a complaint about. Sexual Assault. Coincidence?

People who can't afford a good lawyer have the Esparza's book thrown at them immediately, not a year later. Goes to show the power EPPD and DA's office have. Joe Blow gets arrested, indicted, prosecuted and convicted in a heart beat and corrupt officers are slapped on the wrist and promoted. Makes me sick!!!

Once again...proof that the EPPD unfortunately has strange bedfellows,th DA's office. Great reporting!

Great Job El Pasoans, keep your post coming maybe someone will notice that El Paso is asking more hard questions not just when it directly concerns us but as well as when another El Pasoan is being put in this type of predicament. We have the mentality that if its not happen to us directly then it isn't happening. Wake up El Paso we need to take back our rights as citizens and stop trying to mind our own business attitude."It is our Business".

I wonder if Mr. Esparza realizes how "fishy" his statements sound. Trying to minimize his actions or those of the El Paso PD just don't sit well. Perhaps if I were cognitively challenged his statements might sound logical....

Just more proof of the DA's office in the pockets of El Payasos Police Dept, or visa versa. Who is in whose pocket these days, and if a crime is done by the Payaso PD who can we really expect to prosecute the case fairly. Not in El Paso, not in your life. I agree the Payaso PD classes need ethics, morale, and some sort of community sensativity training.

Another EPPD police officer being accused for a crime??? No suprise!! Obviously during their basic training officers are not required to take a class in morals and ethics!! EPPD has lost all my respect because it makes you question what kind of people they hire!! Then they wonder why people despise police officers! Officers like Munoz, Madrid and Smith are no different than your average everyday criminals!!

If anybody is interesed in the affidavits and COI you can find them on Theresa Caballero's website. To the person who said that the authorities don't care. How right you are. It will take the people in numbers to fix this problem.

it was proven in the court of law that your daughter IS a lier period so get over it and move on lady.... geez. why dont you and Caballero move away and live happily ever after. iraq is looking for citizens??? :)

Jaime Esparza was forced to get a Special Prosecutor in my daughter's case, the first COI. He fought it kicking and screaming. It hasn't been so long that he shouldn't remember. One of the cops in that case had his father working as an investigator in none other than the D.A.'s office. My daughter was arrested for false report to a police officer a year after she was assaulted. How dare she report a sexual assault by two members of the EPPD.

The real scandal in your daughter's case was the conspiracy of a power-crazed attorney, an appointed judge, and a lying teenager to create a publicity spectacle by trampling on the honor and livelihood of two police officers. Apparently , Channel 9 is now providing a forum for other sore losers like you to renew this pathetic dog-and-pony show.

Do the prosecutors in San Antonio and other places have a contract with the police department as does Esparza here?

Do other cities' prosecutors financially benefit from the police as does Esparza's office?

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