DENVER (CBS4) – She says a police officer forced her to have sex with him and now she’s suing the officer.
The reported attack occurred in 2010. The Denver police officer involved also faces criminal charges of rape and kidnapping. The woman wants to see the officer brought to justice.
Right now Officer Hector Paez is serving a suspension without pay while the criminal case moves forward. The victim says she believes Paez used her criminal past to take advantage of her.
Valerie asked CBS4 to conceal her face and not use her last name.
“I just thought, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to kill me, he’s not going to let me go,’ ” she said.
Valerie said it was out of fear that she let a Denver police officer take advantage of her.
“Scared to death because I didn’t think I really had a choice you know, he’s got a badge, he’s got a gun.”
She was waiting for her boyfriend at a Denver light rail station when Paez approached her in his patrol car. He asked her for identification and ran her information through his computer.
“Before I knew it he said I had a warrant and threw me in the back seat of the car.”
Valerie did have a warrant for a probation violation, but after driving her to a secluded area Paez told her there was a way to avoid jail.
“He just undid his pants and said, ‘You know what you have to do,’ ” she said. “He thought, ‘Here’s somebody with a warrant and I can do whatever I want to do with them. They’re not going to tell on me.’ ”
At first she complied but Valerie said when he asked her to take things further she refused and Paez eventually let her go with a threat to keep quiet.
Valerie does have a criminal history that includes drugs and prostitution but she says despite her past mistakes she shouldn’t have been victimized.
“I don’t deserve to have bad things happen to me, nobody does. Nobody deserves to be violated that way,” she said. “I’ve always faced my consequences and got through them and I just wish that he would do the same.”
Valerie says she didn’t want it to happen to anyone else so she came forward and reported the incident.
Paez’s attorney wouldn’t comment on the criminal case but says he believes the civil case is financially motivated.
The criminal case heads to trial in December.