The evidence at trial established that on July 16, 2010, the defendant, while acting as a Milwaukee police officer, responded to a 911call for police assistance at the victim’s home. The defendant then used a combination of coercion and intimidation to force the victim to commit sexual acts before forcibly raping her, while they were alone together in the residence. Law enforcement and civilian witnesses testified that the victim cried out that she had been raped minutes after the sexual assault occurred.
“Officers are charged with protecting and serving our community,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “When officers use their power to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society, the Department of Justice will aggressively prosecute.”
“The federal conviction of a former Milwaukee police officer for violating an individual’s civil rights demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to the investigation and prosecution of those who would use their authority and influence to prey on the very citizens they have sworn to protect,” said James L. Santelle, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. “By pursuing allegations of injustice, including those against law enforcement officers, the Department of Justice can improve public trust and confidence in the law enforcement community.”
Following an internal investigation, the Milwaukee Police Department fired Mr. Cates.
The defendant faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. The sentencing is scheduled for April 11, 2012, before the Honorable J.P. Stadtmueller, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.