As former Orlando police Officer Roderick Johnson awaits trial, accused of raping a woman while on duty, his alleged victim says she's being harassed by police and has requested an external investigation.
Through a lawyer, the woman has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to intervene, alleging police have engaged in repeated, intimidating contact with her over prosecutors' objections.
"She feels that she's been harassed ... that they are essentially trying to make this go away and make her go away," said Whitney Boan, the woman's Orlando lawyer.
Orlando police, however, say they're taking the charges against their officer seriously and are simply doing their due diligence.
"We're in the middle of an investigation here … and it's not completed yet," Deputy Chief Rob Pigman said. "It's not going to be wrapped up for a while because we're not going to rush."
Meanwhile, the woman, who says Johnson had unprotected sex with her in a police substation, is now pregnant. Though no testing has been done, according to her attorney, the woman says only two men could be the father: her boyfriend or Johnson.
The timing leaves open two startling possibilities: that Johnson may have impregnated an arrested woman while on duty or that she was already pregnant when the alleged sexual battery occurred.
Johnson, 44, has retired since his arrest and would not comment when reached by phone Friday. He has denied having sex with the alleged victim.
The woman was arrested Oct. 16 after Johnson discovered the vehicle she was driving had been reported stolen. She says Johnson took her to a substation, had sex with her on a desk and gave her $40 before taking her to jail. The woman says that though the sex was not forcible, Johnson had suggested she could face additional charges if she didn't cooperate with him.
The 22-year-old woman, whom the Orlando Sentinel is not naming because she is identified as the victim in a sexual battery, reported the allegations against Johnson on Oct. 21 after she began experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, records show.
Records show that the woman was interviewed twice by an Orlando detective and also gave a written statement. Though she had been arrested on a third-degree-felony charge, the woman was not represented by an attorney during the interviews.
Police later forwarded their case to the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office, and sexual-battery charges were filed Dec. 3. On Dec.10, police once again interviewed the victim, according to her attorney, this time for an internal-affairs review.
This week, Boan sent a scathing letter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on behalf of her client, criticizing the actions of Orlando police and asking for the external agency to independently review the rape case.
Boan writes that prosecutors had asked police, prior to Dec. 10, to cease questioning the victim. Instead, Boan's letter states, OPD investigators picked the woman up in an agency vehicle and once again questioned her in detail, including "whether or not she had told the truth in her prior statements."
Pigman told the Sentinel that while the woman was "fully welcome" to have a lawyer at the interviews, police don't usually offer legal counsel to the victim in a case. He said detectives were investigating Johnson, not her.
Felt 'threatened' by OPD
The woman said she already feared she was being targeted by police when, during an argument with her boyfriend outside a 7-Eleven store Dec. 11, officers intervened and arrested the boyfriend.
In a report, the arresting officer said the boyfriend appeared he "was about to punch [her] in the face." The boyfriend was arrested on an aggravated-battery charge.
In an affidavit Dec. 17, the woman asked the state to drop her boyfriend's charge, saying she never felt threatened by him.
"I did, however, feel threatened by the Orlando Police Department," the affidavit states. Within days, the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office dropped the charge.
Pigman said he'd been told the Dec. 11 arrest was coincidental. He said that it's "quite common" to make an arrest despite a domestic-violence victim's objections.
However, the victim's attorney says nothing about OPD's handling of the rape case has been commonplace.
"I have NO idea why someone within the Orlando Police Department ... would not have immediately recognized the GROSS appearance of impropriety and ... inherent conflict of interest in OPD's conducting its own internal investigation of this incident ..." Boan's FDLE letter states.
An FDLE spokesman said the agency had received the letter and was reviewing it. Pigman said his agency would cooperate with FDLE but "we've demonstrated time and time again that we're able to police our own."
Officer's checkered past
Records show Johnson has repeatedly been the subject of scrutiny and often discipline.
In 2006, Johnson was accused of trying to intervene when another officer pulled over Juan Lynum, the son of then-City Commissioner Daisy Lynum. In an internal investigation, Johnson, the commissioner's police liaison at the time, denied telling his fellow officer to let Juan Lynum go without a ticket.
Johnson did not face discipline in that matter, but since then, internal-affairs records show, he has violated police policy eight times. He has been suspended twice, reprimanded three times and issued a written censure three times.
Johnson was charged with battery in 2009, when, while working off-duty as a courtesy officer for Island Club Apartments, he was accused of slapping a juvenile who on-duty officers had seen acting suspicious and detained for questioning, according to OPD internal-affairs documents.
Johnson, who lived in the Island Club complex, pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to probation.
In 2010, Johnson was evicted from Island Club. The complex's maintenance supervisor entered to find Johnson's apartment trashed with his work-issued laptop among the rubble. Johnson received a written censure.
Details of the other incidents were not available because the records have been purged. Johnson's retirement, effective Jan. 1, was approved by police Chief Paul Rooney "pending possible termination," records show.
It's unclear what impact the case will have on the 20-year veteran's roughly $52,000 pension. A city spokeswoman said the pension "could be revoked" based on "the outcome of the criminal case."
Lies under oath
Johnson's sworn statement, obtained by the Sentinel, shows he repeatedly lied under oath to an OPD detective.
For example, Johnson said that on the day of the alleged rape, he drove to the substation on Orange Center Boulevard but didn't go inside. Then he said he did go in but that the woman remained in his patrol car.
Questioned further, he admitted she had been inside but said it was so she could use the restroom. The detective responded that, if a trip to the restroom was all that took place inside the substation, Johnson had no reason to lie about it.
Johnson also explicitly denied giving the woman any money but then capitulated again: "I did stick the forty bucks in her pocket."
"And why would you do that, Rod?" the detective asked.
"It's just to help her ... Just to help her," Johnson replied, adding, "I probably give away twenty or thirty dollars a day just to people I know, people out on the block, people asking for it."
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