Prosecution of the former San Jose police officer, 40-year-old Geoffrey Graves for raping a woman while on duty began on February 1st before Judge Ron Del Pozzo at the Hall of Justice in San Jose. Today the jury will begin its deliberations.
With the help of a Spanish to English translator, a 36-year-old undocumented immigrant told her story of how Graves followed up on an investigation into a fight she had had with her husband with other officers, but returned to the woman’s hotel room under the pretense of using the bathroom to rape her.
The receptionist gave the defendant access through a secured area and up an elevator to the third floor, but he never used a bathroom at the lobby, Vega said.
Under questioning by Vega, the woman said she was still awake when she heard a knock at the door and answered to find Graves. The woman asked what Graves was doing there and he walked inside the room without her permission.
Graves took off pants, placed his duty belt on a small table and repeatedly called her crazy, the woman testified.
She was in tears as she recounted that he pushed her on the bed and took off her clothes despite her multiple objections.
The woman said she resisted and tried to push Graves away, but he allegedly raped her for about five minutes until calls were made from his police radio.
Graves’ defense attorney, Kristin Carter says that sex occurred but was consensual. DNA from the victim had been found on Graves’ bulletproof vest. Yet Carter claims that the woman’s behavior after the incident was not consistent with that of a typical rape victim.
In his closing arguments, Santa Clara County prosecutor Carlos Vega said that he had taken advantage of one of the most vulnerable members of society and had found this woman to be the “perfect victim” as she had just been removed from her husband and relocated to a room in the hotel where she had worked as a maid. She was undocumented, intoxicated, unsophisticated and with limited command of English.
“A police officer didn’t rape Ms. Doe,” the prosecutor stressed. “The defendant was a rapist who masqueraded as a police officer.”
A jury of five women and seven men will now be tasked with deciding who is lying. Graves faces eight years if convicted of rape or a maximum of life in prison if it is determined that he entered the hotel room with the intent to assault the victim.