Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The awful price of being a male cop: false rape claims

Marvin Hurst / KENS 5

Martha Zamora Basaldua is accused of making false claims to San Antonio police about a sexual assault. But this was no ordinary rape allegation.

According to an arrest warrant, the 28-year-old alleged five officers from SAPD tried to have their way with her during a DWI accident on May 19. Officers said her claims were false.

Two investigations by SAPD have confirmed that the officers committed no such acts.

In May, after being arrested, Basaldua reportedly alerted a detention guard at the Magistrate's Detention Center to an alleged sexual assault.

"They tried to rape me," she said, according to a warrant.

The arrest document said the guard escorted the five officers and their accuser into a DWI room.

The policemen were instructed to notify their supervisor. According to the warrant, the claims had now escalated to rape.

Police said when a detective interviewed the woman on video tape, her story changed. The detective said he asked her if she had been raped.

"No, but I thought I was going to be," she reportedly replied.

According to Basaldua, the officers were standing over her at the scene. She alleges the group said things like "Who's going to be first?" But she denied any sexual contact.

The warrant said the detective left the 28-year-old accuser alone in the interview room. She reportedly called a friend on the telephone and changed her story again.

Police said she told her friend she was beaten, bruised and raped. That's why she was calling him from SAPD's Internal Affairs. The warrant claims she wanted her friend to get her daughter before police called Child Protective Services. Investigators said in a second call to the same friend, Basaldua alleged the five policemen pinned her down and laughed at her. They reportedly stopped when she began to drop names.

"They are going to back each other up no matter what," she allegedly told the friend.

According to the arrest warrant, police conducted two full investigations into her allegations. The accused officers underwent body searches, the alleged crime scene was processed and everyone at the scene of the May accident was interviewed. However, the warrant said Basaldua would not submit to a full sexual assault exam.

SAPD also activated their Sex Crimes Stranger team to conduct a probe. It's specialized group of investigators used in high profile cases.

The investigations came to the same conclusion. Police said there was no evidence of a sexual assault. A warrant was issued for Basaldua's arrest on Monday for a charge of filing a false report. The 28-year-old was arrested. She is currently out of jail on a $3,500 bond.

This report adds: "The arrest warrant stated all five officers at the scene of the DWI accident, the two EMS technicians and even the tow truck driver that arrived there all consented to searches that night. No evidence was ever found that Basaldua had been raped." This one adds one more detail: "Five arresting officers, two EMS technicians and a wrecker driver who were with Basaldura during the original accident agreed to a medical exam, while Basaldua refused to have tests conducted to determine whether or not an assault took place. There was no evidence that she was sexually assaulted, the affidavit states."