A former San Mateo, California police officer was recently arrested and charged with sexually assaulting five women while he was on duty.
According to NBC Bay Area News, Noah White Winchester was charged with 22 counts, which included kidnapping with intent to commit rape, rape, sexual penetration and oral copulation under color of authority, sexual battery, criminal threats, and forcible sex offenses. It’s believed that these alleged crimes took place between July 2, 2013 and Oct. 19, 2015, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the news outlet.
Wagstaffe said that the reason that Winchester hadn’t been arrested earlier was because his alleged victims didn’t come forward until the end 2015. But now that they did, Winchester is being held on $3.1 million bail and is expected to be arraigned next week, NBC noted. He currently has no legal representation.
“We are horrified by the news of the recent arrest of this former San Mateo and Los Rios Community College District Police Officer, and want to assure our community and our leaders that this neither reflects nor deflects the dedication to duty and selfless service that our men and women commit themselves to every day on every contact,” the police department said in an issued statement.
“These allegations, if proven true, are a disgrace and wholly disavowed by this department and this city,” they continued.
This news underscores how often women, especially those of color, are caught in the crosshairs of sexual violence by our own law enforcement. This is the total opposite of serving and protecting.