DA: Woman accuses police chief of rape
Police chief denies rape accusations
staff reports Monday, April 23, 2007
Police Chief Bryan Smith denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman Saturday, saying the report was "false, vindictive and retaliatory."
"I have been falsely accused of sexual assault by a woman I formerly dated," Smith said during a press conference at his lawyer'>Smith said he learned about the accusations Saturday and is cooperating with the Texas Rangers' investigation into the matter.
"I have been falsely accused of sexual assault by a woman I formerly dated," Smith said during a press conference at his lawyer'>"I am confident that the investigation will exonerate me of the malicious accusation made against me," Smith said.
District Attorney Carlos Valdez said Monday his office is assisting with the investigation.
Valdez said a woman in her 30s said she was raped Saturday and went to an area hospital early that afternoon seeking medical care. He would not identify the woman or hospital but said standard procedures were performed to evaluate the woman's condition after she reported the incident to medical authorities.
Smith's lawyer, Tony Canales, said he believes the allegations stemmed from Smith's public proposal last Sunday to his girlfriend of five months, Patricia Zavodsky, at a Corpus Christi Hooks game.
Smith said he was taking a voluntary leave of absence until the matter is resolved and plans to use vacation days he has accrued.
City Manager Skip Noe said it is the city's normal procedure to wait until the results of an initial investigation before deciding if a city employee should be placed on paid or unpaid leave.
Noe said he learned of the accusation from Smith on Saturday afternoon after the police officer who took the report at the hospital called his supervisor who notified the chief.
Smith, 46, who has worked with Corpus Christi Police Department since 1981, was sworn in as chief in July after a nationwide search for a new chief.
(Update: the grand jury has refused indict the chief for rape. I wonder how many regular Joe's get the same consideration from the matriarchy's grand jury?)