Obviously, a Massachusetts police officer is charged with enforcing the law. When an officer is himself accused of a crime, the experience may be substantially more embarrassing simply because of his position of trust. But that does not mean he is guilty, and a police officer accused of a crime is entitled to the same presumption of innocence that protects us all.
Nevertheless, a Dartmouth police officer submitted his resignation from the force, with an effective date of April 7, after criminal charges were filed against him that claimed he had inappropriately touched a woman who was a Macy’s employee while on duty at the Dartmouth Mall in November.
The former cop was charged with one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 years of age and two counts of assault and battery. The police officer was placed on paid administrative leave before he put in his resignation, and he has pleaded not guilty to the three criminal counts.
While the allegations are serious and could lead to significant penalties if the man is convicted, they are at this point only allegations. Indeed, the news story reporting the man’s resignation from the local Massachusetts police force offered no details of the criminal accusations made other than the date and place where they supposedly occurred.
It is the sole responsibility of the government to prove the criminal charges. The man’s defense will afford him the opportunity to contest the evidence presented again him as he fights to clear his name. Whatever occurred has already cost the man his career, and he is surely entitled to present a vigorous defense that challenges the prosecution and its witnesses while seeking an acquittal or other positive result.
Source: Boston.com, “Dartmouth officer facing charges resigns,” April 9, 2012