Federal Prosecutors Look Into Case Of Former Fayetteville Police Officer
Posted August 11, 2003 3:55 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Former Fayetteville police Officer Christopher Young was charged with raping women while on duty in 1998. He was acquitted in 2000. But now, federal prosecutors have jumped in and Young could go to trial next month.
In 2000, prosecutors argued that Christopher Young used the intimidation of his badge to rape women he pulled over for traffic stops, but a Cumberland County jury disagreed.
After the verdict, the fired Fayetteville police officer called it ill-advised consensual sex, not a crime.
"I don't know what I was thinking. Believe me, I've said it 100 times. It was a stupid thing to do, but it wasn't kidnapping or rape," Young said in an earlier interview.
A federal grand jury did not believe Young's argument and earlier this year, it indicted Young on five civil rights charges. The U.S. attorney contends the former officer deprived three women of their rights through sexual assault and illegally detained two others.
Attorney Roger Smith says Young's acquittal in state court does not stop federal prosecutors from pursuing the case.
"In a sense, it does seem more serious," Smith said. "If you do that under color of law, such as a law enforcement officer, then it also is a federal crime."
William Peregoy, who represented Young in the state case, said he is outraged. He said that pursuing federal charges is "retaliatory" and "an abuse of process."
WRAL was unable to get a comment from Young, but his attorney told WRAL he is trying to move on with his life. In addition to the federal charges, Young is still dealing with civil suits filed by the women who accused him of rape.