Officer Abraham Joseph was indicted on Thursday. A Houston police officer kidnapped a waitress from outside a restaurant, drove her to an unlighted area and raped her on the trunk of his police car, according to a civil lawsuit filed by the woman.
The waitress, a Hispanic woman in her late 20s, was granted a restraining order keeping officer Abraham Joseph from coming within 2,000 yards of her. The Houston Chronicle does not identify victims of sexual assaults.
Joseph, 27, was indicted by a Harris County grand jury on Thursday on charges of aggravated sexual assault, and Houston police said they relieved the officer of duty the same day the woman reported the alleged attack.
The woman said she was taking a break outside her place of business on West Fuqua late Jan. 2 when officer Joseph stopped and arrested a man. He then placed handcuffs on the woman and shoved her into his patrol car with the man, the lawsuit alleged.
Joseph began to fondle the woman, the lawsuit alleges. Then, Joseph drove to a remote location and freed the man. He drove to another location, where he repeatedly assaulted the woman, the suit alleges. At one point, the officer placed the woman on the rear of the city patrol car as he assaulted her, the suit alleges.
Defense attorney Nicole Deborde, who said she had not seen the lawsuit, questioned the motives of the woman in immediately filing a civil suit.
"We believe in his innocence, and we are going to aggressively defend this case,“ DeBorde said. Benjamin Hall who is representing the woman and has not ruled out suing the city of Houston, said Joseph previously served on the New York City police force. Joseph, who joined HPD in July 2009 and is assigned to the Southwest Patrol Division, worked alone on the late-night shift and had stopped at the business a month earlier, Hall said.
"One of the issues we want to look at is did he do this kind of conduct up in New York as well,“ said Hall .
"The point is not merely catching after doing a bad act," Hall said. "We give them the prerogatives to take our lives and use deadly force, so we have to make sure we get them before they do the bad acts."