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Ex-HPD cop on trial for rape

Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Abraham Joseph

A former Houston police officer is on trial, accused of sexually assaulting a woman while that officer was on duty. Jurors have spent much of the day listening to two different versions of what happened that night.

The first witnesses took the stand Tuesday in the rape trial of former HPD Officer Abraham Joseph after both sides presented opening arguments. The defense says the sex was consensual, but the prosecution says HPD had a rapist on the payroll.

From the very start, there have been two accounts of what happened on January 2, 2011.

Joseph told the judge, "No, ma'am, I'm not guilty."

Former Houston Police Officer Abraham Joseph denies the two charges of rape against him. His defense attorney told the jury on Tuesday morning that joseph had sex while on duty.

"Abraham Joseph was a police officer and while he should have been doing his job and out patrolling, Mr. Joseph was having sex with someone who was not his wife," said defense attorney Nicole Deborde. "At the end of this trial, you are going to be very disappointed with Mr. Joseph."

But the defense claims is that it was consensual sex. The prosecution, on the other hand, told the jury that Joseph was a rapist.

"You're going to hear that in January 2011, the Houston Police Department had a rapist on its payroll," said prosecutor Heyward Carter. "He had a badge, he had a gun, he had a marked patrol car and evil in his heart."

The victim told police Joseph had picked up her and a man in the parking lot of the cantina where she worked, and drove first to a gas station where he let the man out, then to a park, where she says he raped her.

The first witnesses on the stand were the victim's aunt, and then the aunt's husband, who say the victim came home crying, and saying she had been sexually assaulted.

    Prosecutor: "What did she say?"
    Witness Israel Ramirez: "That a police officer had raped her."
    Prosecutor: "And what did you think?"
    Ramirez: "I never thought a police officer would do that."

The victim is expected to take the stand sometime Wednesday. If he's found guilty, Joseph faces anywhere from five years to life in prison.

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