Court Watch - POSTED: 2007/01/22 20:40
Former San Antonio Police Officer Dean Gutierrez was sentenced today in federal court to 24 years and four months in prison for violating the civil rights of a citizen whom Gutierrez detained while on duty, the Justice Department announced today.
Gutierrez was previously found guilty of sexually and physically assaulting a transgendered individual, who was 21 years-old at the time of the assault. On the night of June 10, 2005, Gutierrez detained and then drove the victim to a secluded location. Gutierrez then proceeded to beat and rape the victim.
â€œOfficers of the law bear the special responsibility of upholding justice and protecting the rights of all citizens,â€ said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. â€œThe defendant in this case brutally violated that responsibility. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute these cases.â€
The Civil Rights Division is committed to the vigorous enforcement of every federal criminal civil rights statute, such as those laws that prohibit the willful use of excessive force or other acts of misconduct by law enforcement officials. In fact, the Division has compiled a significant record on criminal civil rights prosecutions in the last six years. In fiscal year 2006, nearly 50 percent of the cases brought by the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division involved such prosecutions. Since fiscal year 2001, the Division has convicted 50 percent more defendants for excessive force and official misconduct than in the preceding six years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Baumann and Civil Rights Division attorney Jim Felte prosecuted this case for the government.