DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver police officer charged with sexually assaulting a woman he pulled over has been found guilty.
The verdict came in Tuesday afternoon against Hector Paez. He was found guilty of sexual assault, kidnapping and false reporting.
Paez appeared calm as he walked into the courtroom holding his wife’s hand. After the verdict was read his wife broke down as Paez was taken into custody.
Lynn Kimbrough with the Denver District Attorney’s Office said at the core the case was about the sexual assault.
“This case is very unusual. This type of case; I can’t think of another case like this that has happened here in Denver,” Kimbrough said. “There certainly is nothing that is systemic about this case.”
The reported attack occurred in 2010. The victim said she believed Paez used her criminal past to take advantage of her.
“I just thought, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to kill me, he’s not going to let me go,’ ” the victim told CBS4 in May.
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.”
The woman 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 said when he asked her to take things further she refused and Paez eventually let her go with a threat to keep quiet.
Paez appeared stunned to hear the guilty verdicts. He will be sentenced on Thursday and faces a possibility of life in prison.