San Antonio police officer Jackie Len Neal, 40, was arrested Saturday after a 19-year-old woman accused the officer of raping her during a traffic stop. Remarkably, this is not the first time the officer has been in trouble for inappropriate sexual behavior.
According to mySA, a woman told police that Neal pulled her over Friday morning and told her that her car had been reported stolen. She said she showed the officer a sales receipt for the vehicle and was then asked to step out of the vehicle for a pat-down.
According to an affidavit, the woman complied, but asked that a female officer preform the pat-down. She alleges that her request was ignored and that Neal proceeded to grope her during the search, place her in handcuffs and lead her to his patrol car. The woman alleges that after she was placed in the back of the officer’s car, she was raped and instructed not to tell anyone about the incident.
According to the San Antonia Police Department a GPS unit on the officer’s vehicle corroborates the woman’s story that it was parked on Betty Street at Janice Lavon Drive for about 18 minutes while the alleged rape occurred.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said that there would normally be video surveillance equipment operating in the officer’s vehicle to record activity in the front and rear of the patrol car. Neal’s car, however, did not the hard drive required for the equipment to operate at the time of the alleged attack. McManus told reporters that Neal would have been aware that the cameras were off.
There have been other instances when Neal was investigated for sexually inappropriate behavior while on the job.
A few years ago another woman claimed that Neal raped her in a similar fashion, according to the police chief — but the woman later refused to cooperate with the investigation. McManus said that officers would re-open the case and ask the victim to cooperate.
And as recently as September, Neal was suspended for dating an 18-year-old participating in Police Explorer, a program designed to encourage young people to pursue law enforcement careers. Officers a not allowed to carry on relationships with the 14- to 21-year-old participants of the program.
After that incident, the officer was placed of night patrol in a different beat, according to SAPD.
McManus said that if the allegations against Neal are true, it is a disgrace to law enforcement.
“I can’t express in words how disappointed and angry I am about this. I am at a loss for words,” he said. “I am outraged. This is a punch in the eye to the Police Department.”
The chief went on to say that even if the sex turned out to have been consensual, Neal would face consequences.
“There is no such thing a consensual sex on duty,” he said. “I feel silly even saying that we won’t tolerate it. Of course we won’t tolerate it. There is no gray area. This is a criminal offense.”
SAPD is working with the FBI in an investigation of the incident and has asked any other people in the area who have had a similar experience to come forward.
“I praise the victim for having the courage to come forward and having the confidence in the SAPD to handle the case effectively,” McManus said.