Police Comment on Allegations Against Officer


POSTED: Friday, November 5, 2010 - 4:38pm

UPDATED: Sunday, November 7, 2010 - 6:03pm

Mark Munoz is accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Tonight, the police department is explaining in detail its position on the issue.

"We received the complaint and the report in early November, actually November 2nd, in 2009," said police spokesman Darrel Petry. "That was taken and turned over to the district attorney's office in March of 2010."

Five months - that's how long it took for police to present the sexual assault case to the district attorney.

The alleged victim, we'll call her Anne for the purposes of our story, says a year ago, on Halloween night, police officer Munoz sexually assaulted her when she was unconscious.

Only yesterday, Munoz's lawyer pleaded "not guilty" on his behalf but offered no further comment. Today we asked Petry if it is common for a case to take five months to hand over to the district attorney's office.

"Sometimes it could take longer, sometimes it could be shorter," he said. "It's an investigation, it's an evolving thing."

The El Paso Police Department's special investigations group handled the investigation. Anne says investigators found half-digested pills inside her car, as well as urine on her dress. To this day, she still doesn't know if the urine was her own. She also says a rape kit was administered, but again, she still doesn't know the results. We asked Petry why the investigation was not handed over to a separate agency, when the accused is one of their own.

"This is the way we do it, there's two separate entities involved, you've got the police department, you've got the district attorney's office."

Anne told us a toxicology test was never conducted, even though she says she felt very sick, like she had consumed something other than alcohol. We asked police if a toxicology test would normally be conducted if the alleged victim felt like he or she may have been drugged.

"I mean I guess it depends on the nature of the investigation, again, I can't say that it wasn't done."

So was as a toxicology test done?

"The details of the investigation will be presented at the trial, you'll need to speak with the district attorney's office on any of that type of stuff."

We also asked if Petry knew Munoz on a personal level.

"I've worked with mark, yes I did," Petry said. They worked together for about a year, but he says their relationship isn't hampering his ability to objectively relay information to the public.

"I think we're objectively doing that right now," he said.

Another question: why was the public not informed at the time of Munoz's arrest that a police officer - still on the force - had been indicted on a second degree felony charge?

"We don't put out press releases in these types of incidents, we don't." Petry said the reason is to protect the victim. We also found a report in the case file detailing the incident, but it is incomplete; the second page is missing. That missing page contains information provided by witnesses. Police say they don't know where the second page is and that it may include confidential information not privy to the public, so for that reason it may have been left out. As for Munoz, Petry said there is an ongoing administrative investigation.

We also tried to contact the district attorney's office for comment, but they didn't return our calls.

Comments News Comments

Lets see now, lets do the math on this, on the 1st of December i allegedly sexually abuse a person. I dont expect to be told about it till Feburary, or the DA's office notified till April, which is five months later. Only a cop gets this treatment. Looks a bit like the Keystone Cops in blue are covering for each other. Dont badmouth the reporter for doing her job, badmouth Internal Affairs for this whitewash to try and cover this up, as well as the spin they are putting on this.

Lindsey Reiser has done an outstanding job.

Time for the FBI to step in!

Congratulations Lindsey on a job well done, but is not over yet.We all know that in EP, the police is above the law. Next thing you know,Ms.Reiser will start getting harassed by our guys in blue or the city courts. Sad, but true.

What can i say I guess we are lucky we are not in Chicago or Washington where the violence has just gotten out of hand. The corruption in the larger states is much more devastating,so in away i guesss we are pretty lucky that police crimes are here are at some kind of a minimum.

So I guess I can go out and commit "minimal" criminal transgressions and it will be OK? Seriously?

It seems like ktsm has their own agenda for the police department. It seems like they are really trying hard to leave a bad taste in the public's mouth about this department. People make mistakes, officer are people and no one department, entity or anybody is ever gonna be perfect. Why doesn't ktsm take care of their skeletons before they try to try to reveal everyone else's. Like they say, you don't like the police but you'll call them when you need them.....

I agree. Yoiu haven't even heard his side of the story. Just because he is a cop you people think automatically that he is guilty. If she didn't want the drinks that he was buying her, she shouldn't of drank them. She is just as guilty.


Spoken like a true cop!

Lindsey Reiser is doing a fabulous job. She is the only reprter in my lifetime I have seen ask the questions. She will make her name and be gone to bigger markets sooooon. She will deserve it.

We will be left with the rest of the El Paso media flunkies like Celina "I'm so beautiful Celina" (Avila from channel 7) idiots who look the other way when it comes to the biggest crime mob in town, the Police.!

El Pasoans are furious about thePD. The media has been doing BJ's on the PD.

If you really want answers,get with the district attorney. It seems as though you are now taking this situation personal against the police department. There are many questions that the police spokesperson cannot answer due to legalities. Yet he is put on the spot making it seem as though he is covering up for the officer. The news media and the local law enforcement authorities have always had a good relationship. Now you are really putting a strain on this.

2nd point. The EPPD does not, as a matter of practice and respect for protecting victims of sexual assault from being identified, issue press releases on Sexual Assaults. That is why the public does not see them reported on the news often. The indictment released to the media identified the victim and thankfully the news CHOSE to redact the name. This case was handled no different than any other Sexual Assault until KVIA got a tip this past week and we had to respond.

hey Mike Baranyay (PIO for the EPPD),

Do you think you could have done a better job of covering up than Petry did? My two year old niece could have. It was pitiful. /grunts would have been better and more truthful.

You usually arrest anyone who accuses a cop of anything. Are you scared now because of how you have been pinned against the wall?You and DA Jaime Esparza play the game of pointing the finger at each other as part of your hide the ball from the public.

You have been outed.

Lindsey Reiser is not telling the complete story. This is the second recent story that KTSM has mislead the public on. Here ae some facts:

1. The document Lindsey refers to that is missing page 2 was not obtained fom the Police. She stated she got the document fom the court. I told her to ask the court where the second page is since we DID NOT give her the document we cannot be responsible for not releasing the second page.

When is the local police academy going to get an effective 'how to lie to the public and get away with it' course? What I have seen recently, and previously, is a complete joke! How do they keep a straight face on camera? How does the interviewer (who should get an award)keep a straight face?

If I decide to commit a crime other that jay walking, I will join the police force first!

Look at that, you've almost got a news report. Now, if you could just get off of your lazy butt and find out if historically, the police departmant handled similiar cases the same way, you could actually provide us with some facts to chew on. Give us facts, not opinions.

Actually the last time a woman accused a cop(s) of raping her, the police actually had her ARRESTED! The way the EPPD and DA Esparza went after that poor girl made the NEW YORK TIMES! The Media here ignored the abuse until it made the front page of the NYTimes and then after that they spent their ink covering for the cops and the DA.

The victim in this case was wise to move out of El Paso. Everyone knows the PD cover for themselves and go after those who expose them.

How convenient for the Police Department, Juarez and El Paso are the same, Juarez is out in the open, El Paso in the hidden, in the hush hush, same thing, they are equally corrupt, really, look at their past, look at all the headlines from the Herald Post to now, the El Paso police department has covered and looked after it's own! It is sickening Hypocrites.Look into it, see the pattern; not only since the Herald but recently. And all the people being killed in Juarez aren't in the drug cartel!

Other thing, there is a statute of limitations on certain crimes. What is the statute on this crime and why is this just now being acted on?

My take: the police buried this in the hopes that the statute of limitations would expire before any media would expose it.

the reason why you are being stonewalled is because Munoz is a police officer. What happened to Internal Affairs? Why are the police investigating? the FBI? Police officers are always covering up when a fellow police officer is in trouble.

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