A Colorado police officer who was supposed to be driving a woman home from the hospital when he instead sexually assaulted her while handcuffed outside of his patrol car was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by four years probation after admitting to the sex crime on Thursday.
The 36-year-old victim had admitted herself to the St. Anthony North Health Campus Hospital in Westminster for alcoholism, an affidavit about the 2017 incident stated.
The woman told Broomfield police she had gone to the emergency room at the same hospital the night before after “self-admitting for alcoholism,” an affidavit about the 2017 incident stated.
Hospital staff called the police to report that she had attempted to steal items from the ER.
Curtis Lee Arganbright, 41, was dispatched but the hospital agreed not to press charges if he agreed to take her home.
It was on that journey that Arganbright stopped his Westminster police patrol car, ordered the woman out of the vehicle, and forced her to have sex on the front while she was still cuffed, 9News reported.
He then made her perform oral sex on him before driving her home, warning her “she better not tell anyone about this.” According to the affidavit, he then handed her his business card telling his victim to “call me sometime.”
The victim returned to the hospital the following day, Aug. 24, 2017, saying she had been sexually assaulted.
Officers from Broomfield Police were called to the hospital and asked to bring a rape kit.
Arganbright was arrested and suspended without pay. He later resigned.
The former officer pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual contact and one count of official misconduct, both misdemeanors.
Arganbright must also register as a sex offender and enter a treatment program as part of his sentence, The Denver Post reported.
“The victim in the case was physically unable to be present for the sentencing hearing but her mother told the judge that her daughter was brutally raped and suffers extreme PTSD because of Arganbright’s actions,” stated a release from the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Colorado.
“Chief Deputy District Attorney Trevor Moritzky told the court that as a Westminster police officer, Arganbright was entrusted with protecting those most vulnerable in the community and that Arganbright abused that trust. He said Arganbright continued to blame the victim. Arganbright chose this victim because she was vulnerable, he said.”
“The alleged conduct described in this arrest sickens my soul,” said Westminster Police Chief Tim Carlson . “That it describes the conduct of an on-duty officer in my department has left me numb. The impact on the victim in this case is something I can’t begin to imagine.”