Precinct 1 officers alleging intercourse abuse in ‘bachelor occasion’ stings deserve outdoors investigation
Of all the drastic allegations made in a lawsuit by former Deputy Police Officers of Prison 1 who say they were harassed and traumatized by superiors during “undercover” prostitution stitches, one episode is particularly mind-boggling and upsetting.
The former deputy police officer claims she was ordered in August 2019 to schedule a massage appointment with a man recently accused of raping her civilian colleague and then “wait for a sexual assault” before meeting the waiting officer the signal is to search the facility and arrest him.
The lawsuit states that the woman “was sent in to undress like a lamb for slaughter with a known rapist and to allow him to attack her.” He did just that, the lawsuit says, which describes a disturbing scene: When the alleged victim emerged traumatized from the massage parlor after the raid, she saw her top-level boss, Constable Alan Rosen, and news teams gathering one Press conference to announce the arrest while forced to drive herself to a sexual assault investigation.
Yes, these are just allegations in a lawsuit. But for anyone tempted to directly dismiss them as too horrible to believe, watch an April 23rd story by Gabrielle Banks of the Chronicle that seems to give them credibility.
When Banks asked if he should send the undercover agent to the parlor, Rosen was quoted as saying, “Officers are put into situations that can be dangerous every day, but these professionals do their job knowing the danger.”
There is nothing “everyday” about the horrific claims made in this lawsuit by women who say they were never trained to participate in covert sex trafficking, let alone such a risky and traumatic operation. While there may be a conspiracy somewhere in Hollywood in which female cops are forced to self-endure a rape in order to apprehend a rapist, we cannot think of a department that endorses this strategy in real life.
However, the lawsuit alleges that Rosen did it – not only sanctioning this operation, but also repeating alcohol-filled “bachelorette parties” by his division’s human trafficking task force in 2019 and 2020, during which hand-picked deputy cops were ordered To behave like this Prostitute wear revealing clothing, sometimes undress, simulate sexual activity, and allow a boss to kiss and caress them while playing the role of client. The aim was allegedly to trick sex workers into offering sex for money, which led to the arrest and eventual arrest of pimps and senior traffickers.
While human trafficking is a serious problem in the Houston area, even without the allegations of wrongdoing in the lawsuit, the party’s stitches hardly appear to be an effective means of rooting out the problem or spending taxpayers’ money. The lawsuit suggests the bites have spilled over into drunk, taxpayer-funded parties resembling orgies, with county-paid sex toys, supervisors pressuring female officials to use alcohol to loosen up, and order them to undress and do lap dances.
Although the lawsuit alleged that women who complained were told they simply didn’t have what it takes to be good cops, the plaintiffs say it is clear that the focus wasn’t really on policing. In one case, the lawsuit describes how after arrests had already been made and there was no need to pretend, a supervisor slowly walked to retrieve his undercover partner’s bra, commenting on her naked body. In a particularly alarming indictment, the lawsuit states that a drunken supervisor once stormed into a room where a child trafficking victim was calling out about abuse and pulled his partner out of the interview – at one point, the victim even yelled at each other hurry their testimony.
The lawsuit, filed by three current and former deputy police officers – and one additional plaintiff – alleges wrongdoing ranging from sexual harassment, sexual harassment, civil rights violations, and retaliation for reporting the alleged wrongdoing. In addition to roses, the petition names the deputy deputy head Chris Gore and Lt. Shane Rigdon, who led the task force’s field operations. The lawsuit does not accuse Rosen of any involvement in sexual misconduct.
Rosen’s office declined to speak to editors on Thursday, but said in an earlier statement that when it became aware of the allegations, months ago it “proactively” ordered an internal affairs investigation and “immediately” ordered supervisors of humans have replaced trade unit. The investigation, he said, found no violations of any law or policy. The policeman, whose name was circulated to replace Sheriff Ed Gonzalez when he joined the Biden administration, suggested the allegations be made to challenge his department’s reputation.
“I have a zero tolerance attitude towards sexual assault and sexual harassment and would never allow a hostile work environment as claimed,” he said.
If that’s what Rosen means, he shouldn’t hesitate to seek an independent investigation by the FBI Public Integrity Department or the Texas Rangers to investigate the troubling allegations. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and others at the Court of Commissioners should open the same investigation and certainly not consider Rosen for the sheriff’s post until they get to the bottom of what happened.
We don’t encourage officials to blame early on without knowing all of the facts. Indeed, individuals other than Rosen have dismissed the lawsuit’s allegations, including the implication that Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg was unwilling to interfere.
“The claim that our office took no action is completely wrong. That is insulting, “said DA spokesman Dane Schiller. “There was no cover-up, no laziness, no lack of care from our prosecutors.”
Still, someone has to investigate – except for the accused department. If the allegations go wrong, Rosen’s name will be deleted. If true, the officials’ actions point to far more than just workplace harassment, but deeper corruption, potentially criminal misconduct, and a toxic culture in desperate need of reform.