Deputy Matthew Donnelly on trial for the sexual assault of a women he was supposed to be rendering medical assistance to.
A Tavares, Florida man is sorry that he asked a police officer for help. That’s because instead of helping, a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy sexually assaulted the man’s girlfriend.
The 26-year-old woman testified in court on Tuesday. She said that the deputy was going to imprison her boyfriend, even though he was the one who called for help. The deputy promised to let them go on their way if the woman would submit to his sexual advances.
It all happened back on New Year’s Eve 2013. The couple had left their two children home with a family member. It was a rare getaway for the couple, who joined in the New Year’s festivities with friends in Orlando.
The woman acknowledged that they both had a little too much to drink. She says she had a bit too much champagne and “fruity” drinks as 2014 began.
Both she and her boyfriend admit that they should not have gotten behind the wheel of their Cadillac Escalade, and she offered no excuse in her defense for doing so.
But what happened next, she explained, also could not be defended…
The woman had passed out, in the passenger’s seat of the vehicle. When she awoke she saw Deputy Matthew Donnelly standing outside of their SUV.
The victim explained on the stand that the officer told her they were both in a lot of trouble. Her boyfriend, who had been behind the wheel, was going to jail… that is, unless she promised to keep quiet about what the deputy planned to do.
The victim didn’t keep quiet, and as a result, Donnelly was charged with sexual battery by a law enforcement officer. The charge is a serious one, which could land the 37-year-old cop in prison for the rest of his life, if convicted.
“It’s a cop. That doesn’t happen, right?” the woman testified, still in disbelief from the ordeal.
Donnelly’s defense attorney, Ed Mills, cross-examined her, claiming that it was all a figment of her imagination.
Her boyfriend also took the stand. He recounted to jurors that he had he flagged down Deputy Donnelly for help. He had not crashed the SUV, but once he saw his girlfriend passed out, from what was a relatively small amount to drink, he feared the worst and sought help.
That much is confirmed by the deputy’s dash-cam footage. But Donnelly disabled the video for a full 23 minutes, during which time the sexual assault took place.
So far, forensic evidence has corroborated key parts of the woman’s testimony, according to Assistant State Attorney Dan Mosley, in his opening statement to the jury.
The trial is set to wrap up Wednesday.