A former Dallas police officer who was facing 20 years in prison after he was accused of raping a woman who had passed out on his couch was offered a plea deal Monday that spared him any jail time or having to register as a sex offender.
In fact, if Oscar Araiza does not get arrested for another five years, which is unlikely considering he spent almost two decades with Dallas police, the conviction will be wiped off his record.
However, accepting the plea deal was a tough decision, said his attorney, because the “climate in law enforcement right now” has left citizens distrustful of police, therefore not guaranteeing the usual police acquittal had he taken the case to trial.
As a result, Arraiza was forced to plead guilty to aggravated assault rather than take a chance with a jury trial for raping a drunk woman passed out on his couch.
It’s just not easy being a cop these days.
Araiza, 41, who spent 18 years with the department, maintains the sex was consensual, even though the woman ran out of his home at 3:30 a.m. and called police, accusing him of rape.
Araiza, who had scratches on his arms and neck, claimed the woman assaulted him after agreeing to have sex with him.
The woman, who was a friend of a friend, said he covered her mouth with his hands as he was raping her, but she managed to fight him off.
Araiza, an 18-year veteran of the force, was fired in February 2014 after being arrested on a charge of sexual assault.
Internal investigators alleged Araiza raped the friend of a woman he had known for years after meeting the women at a bar on Oct. 6, 2013.
Araiza had “fresh scratches to his neck and arms” when he was interviewed by internal investigators right after the incident, but he claimed the sex was consensual and the injuries came from the woman assaulting him, according to court documents.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the trio left the bar and went to Araiza’s Uptown townhouse around 1 a.m. because the woman who knew Araiza believed her friend was “too intoxicated to drive home.”
The woman’s friend passed out on Araiza’s leather couch, police said. The woman who knew Araiza left his townhouse around 3 a.m., trusting the longtime police officer with her unconscious friend, police said.
The friend told police she awoke minutes later with Araiza sexually assaulting her. She said she “began to struggle to get away” from him, and “began yelling at which time Araiza covered her mouth to quiet her screams,” according to the affidavit.
She broke free and grabbed her belongings, police said. Araiza walked her out of his townhouse as he “appeared to be downplaying his actions,” the affidavit states.
The victim called 911 shortly before 3:30 a.m. and went to a hospital, where she underwent a rape kit exam. A detective who interviewed her noticed her arms were bruised and she had “redness to her mouth,” according to the affidavit.
But Araiza was protected from the very beginning because he happened to be a cop, which gives him godlike status in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of most citizens unfortunately.
How many other accused rapists who do not have this godlike status would receive the same treatment?
Only time will tell if La’Cori Johnson, another Dallas cop who was arrested and fired for sexual assault, will receive the same treatment.
“You don’t have to go to jail if you do what I tell you to do,” he said, according to an arrest affidavit.