Officer accused of sexual assault quits amid inquiry

Published May 28, 1997|Updated Oct. 1, 2005

A police officer resigned last week amid internal and criminal investigations into whether he sexually assaulted a woman while on duty.

Derrick L. Jordan said Tuesday the allegations were frivolous but resigned because of how detectives and department supervisors have treated him during the investigation.

"My resignation was for personal reasons. I resigned because I didn't want to work there anymore," said Jordan, who has been a police officer in St. Petersburg since February 1990. "I was completely cooperative with the Police Department because I had nothing to hide."

A 32-year-old woman told investigators that she was walking home from work about 2:30 a.m. April 29 when she saw Jordan at a convenience store. They talked about whether she had been drinking. She bought cigarettes and left.

When she got home, she discovered that one of her window screens had been damaged. She returned to the convenience store and asked Jordan to investigate.

While the officer was investigating the burglary, the woman told investigators, she was forced to participate in a sexual act. The officer was at the woman's house about 25 minutes before he told radio dispatchers he had finished his investigation.

The officer said he did nothing more than take information for a burglary report, but the woman went to authorities several hours later to say she had been assaulted.

A team of detectives is trying to determine if Jordan should be arrested. Prosecutors have been asked to decide whether to file formal criminal charges.

Detectives are trying to see if Jordan's blood and hair samples match physical evidence taken from the woman. Jordan said he cooperated with the detectives early on, even talking to them for several hours without a lawyer.

Detectives also spoke to two other women who claim Jordan harassed them, but Stelljes would not comment about them. "As part of our investigation, we're trying to look at all aspects," he said.

Jordan, 29, was placed on administrative leave after the complaint was filed hours after the alleged assault. With the criminal case unfolding, internal affairs investigators waited to question him until Thursday.

Jordan's attorney, Robert Paver, said the officer felt ambushed when he was questioned by internal affairs investigators.

State law requires that internal affairs investigators show officers transcripts of interviews with accusers, but the Police Department has yet to type up Jordan's transcript. Jordan only has been given vague descriptions of the complaints against him.

What officers say during internal investigations cannot be used against in criminal court, but Jordan is concerned that his interview transcript will be given to prosecutors.

Jordan resigned because he tired of the Police Department's games, especially after he had cooperated with detectives in the criminal case, Paver said.

"One of D.J.'s concerns was they did not move with due dispatch to clear him as he believes the physical evidence will do," Paver said. "There is a sense he has been treated unfairly and they had not taken advantage of the investigation to clear him quickly."

Jordan _ who was an inventory clerk, a mail handler and an airfield management specialist with top-secret security clearances in the Air Force before joining the Police Department _ has been a member of the police narcotics unit, a community officer and assigned to an elite squad that patrols downtown. He recently returned to patrol.

Through the years, he has been reprimanded several times for infractions such as not conducting a proper DUI investigation, showing up late for work and falling asleep on duty. But he also won generally high marks in evaluations.

In 1993, he was arrested in Hillsborough County, where he lives, and charged with domestic violence. He was released the next day on $1,000 bail. He was arrested on a similar charge in 1988, but said the case was dropped.

_ Staff writer Susan Clary contributed to this report.