A Baton Rouge police officer forced a woman to perform a sex act on him in a BREC park earlier this year with the help of two other officers, according to a Wednesday state grand jury indictment.
The three officers — one of whom has since resigned — are accused of threatening to tow the woman’s car or arrest her. Two of the officers forced her male companion to leave the park before the other engaged in the sex act with her, prosecutors allege.
Isaac M. Bolden, Travis D. Wheeler and Emerson J. Jackson were all on duty, in uniform and in marked police cars when they encountered the woman and her male friend in a parked car at Old Hammond Park between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Feb. 4, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said.
Bolden, 40, is the person on whom the woman allegedly performed the sex act, Moore said.
Wheeler, 27, and Jackson, 32, forced the victim’s male friend to leave the park, which left the woman alone with the officers, the district attorney said.
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Ann Godawa said Bolden resigned from the department months ago. Wheeler and Jackson have been placed on paid administrative leave, she said.
Godawa noted that the Police Department is cooperating fully with the District Attorney’s Office.
“We presented a full case over several days,” Moore said of the East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury probe.
Bolden will plead not guilty, said his attorney, John DiGiulio. He declined to comment further.
Wheeler’s attorney, Harry Daniels III, called the indictment a surprise. Wheeler lives at 742 Waterton Court.
“We look forward to his day in court to show the allegations are false,” Daniels said.
It was not clear whether Jackson, 12527 Coursey Blvd., Apt. 1054, has an attorney.
A conviction on the abuse of office charge carries possible prison time of 1 to 5 years, but probation is a possible sentence, Moore said.
Assistant District Attorney Sue Bernie, who is Moore’s chief sex crimes prosecutor, said the alleged facts of the case do not fit the state’s forcible rape statute. That law requires force or threat of physical violence by the defendant, but neither was alleged by the victim, she said.
The indictment alleges Bolden, Wheeler and Jackson “knowingly and intentionally” used the authority of their office or position to “compel and coerce” the woman to provide something to which they were not entitled.
The men allegedly threatened to tow her car or take her to jail, and also allegedly threatened to arrest her male friend, Moore said. The sex act did not occur in a police car, Moore said.
After the incident had ended, he said, the woman immediately reported the matter to police.
Arrest warrants will be issued for the three men, but the district attorney said he expected they would turn themselves in.
The case has been assigned to state District Judge Tony Marabella.
Editor’s note: The address for Isaac Bolden was removed on Nov. 13, 2014 after questions arose as to whether this is his correct address.