A federal judge sentenced a former Alabama State Trooper to one year in prison for depriving a woman of her civil rights by coercing her to perform sex acts. (Yes, you read that right. That’s just one year. For pretty much being a rapist. See how the law works differently for the police?).
U.S. District Judge Virginia E. Hopkins sentenced Keith Wilson Kelley, 51, to the maximum prison term under the misdemeanor charge of depriving a person’s civil rights under the color of law/ while acting in the official capacity of a police officer. Kelley was a captain with the State Troopers. The incident occurred in Shelby County. He pleaded guilty to the charge in federal court in December.
According to the available evidence, Kelley was behind a young woman in line at a self-service check-out at a store. He noticed the woman did not scan and pay for all the items. Kelley thus followed her to her car, displayed his badge, and obtained her name and phone number. Kelley advised her that he would see how the store wanted to deal with the situation and that he would contact her later. He later called her and asked her to meet him at a gas station.
Kelley then told the woman she would be convicted of a felony, but that he could make the case go away. He then coerced her into performing sex acts. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum to the court, the incident was not an isolated act by Kelley, “who during a two-year period brazenly propositioned at least four other women after issuing them traffic tickets in his capacity as a public official.”
Everyone knows that in the private world, when a creeper at a bar asks for a woman’s name and demands sex acts, she can tell him to get lost. If he attempts to force her, she has a right to resist, even with lethal force if appropriate and necessary. If he succeeds in sexually assaulting her and is prosecuted, he would receive harsh penalties and be labeled a sex offender, possibly for life. However, if he happens to be a cop, the scenario is quite different. She is expected to submit to sex acts, he can do as he pleases, and he faces only 1 year in prison.
While many people find the instances of women being forced to perform sex acts on police officers in exchange for leniency to be horrific, few stop to consider what this actually means. It means the women who committed “crimes” – usually petty offenses like drug possession, petty theft, or prostitution – actually prefer being forced to perform sex acts, rather than be subject to the humiliation, entanglements, expenses, and prosecution entailed in the justice system.