A South Florida cop accused of raping a woman at gunpoint while on duty was acquitted today after a jury determined she had asked for it and was merely acting out a fantasy by allowing the cop to penetrate her as she bent over the hood of his car.
After all, defense attorneys argued, the woman had posed for a photo back in high school where she bent over the hood of a car with her hands behind her back in a “strikingly similar position” to how Boynton Beach police officer Stephen Maiorino allegedly raped her.
That photo was taken in 2011. The alleged rape took place in 2014.
At this point, it is not clear how the photo was even admitted as evidence.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
After 10 hours of deliberations, the panel of four men and two women on Tuesday acquitted Stephen Maiorino, 36, of four charges arising from his Oct. 15, 2014 encounter with the passenger of a friend arrested for DUI.
It was a case that hinged on the credibility of the 21-year-old accuser’s testimony and the defense’s claim that the cop was guilty only of using “bad judgment” to have consensual sex with a woman other than his wife and while he was on duty.
During closing arguments Monday, prosecutors called Maiorino “brazen” enough to think he could get away with his crimes.
But jurors found him not guilty of two counts of sexual battery by a law enforcement officer with a firearm, armed kidnapping, and one count called unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior while armed — using his role as a cop to get what he wanted from the woman.
The incident took place October 15, 2014 when the woman, who was 20 at the time, was riding passenger in a car with a friend who had been arrested for drunk driving.
Maiorino, 35 at the time, agreed to drive her to the police station where she could be picked up by her mother.
However, the woman said that when he pulled up in front of the station, he unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis and held her head down, ordering her to suck it.
He then drove her to an abandoned field where he held a gun to her while raping her over the hood of his car, according to the woman.
He was arrested October 30, two weeks after the incident and placed on unpaid administrative leave.
According to a Palm Beach Post article from that day:
Before Maiorino raped her on the hood of his police cruiser, he told her to strip, according to the report. A used condom and other evidence were found in the field the next day by investigators.
She said she was face down, held in place on the hood with his right hand. During the assault, she told police, she looked back at her attacker and saw the gun in his left hand.
Once he was finished, Maiorino told the woman to get dressed and added that he would kill her and her family if she told anyone, according to the report.
Over the radio in his car, officers asked where he and the woman were: They said the woman’s family was at the station waiting to take the 20 year old home. According to radio logs from that day, almost an hour had passed since he made the initial contact with dispatch that he was on his way to drop the woman off to wait for her family.
But Maiorino said the sex was consensual. And his attorneys said that he even gave her his business card, indicating that he wanted to continue having sex with her.
They also said that because he did not bother cleaning up the DNA evidence from his uniform after they had sex – or try to hide the used condom later found at the scene – then it was obviously consensual.
However, the woman denies receiving his business card and said she was afraid for her life.
“I thought I was going to die … I was praying for it to stop,” she testified through tears.
The defense also accused the woman of making up the story to benefit her lawsuit, which she filed three weeks after his October 30 arrest.
Maiorino, a married father of two who has been in jail since the incident, resigned from his job in May. He had worked for the Boynton Beach Police Department for eight years, even winning an Officer of the Month award in 2010.
He is now free to find another job, if he does not fight to get his old job back complete with back pay.