Ex-officer accused of rape faces new federal charge

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A former Maryland police officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a traffic stop is now facing a federal charge.

A federal grand jury indicted Martique Cabral Vanderpool on Wednesday, charging him with deprivation of civil rights under color of law, The Washington Post reported. He was charged last year in Maryland with first-degree rape, reckless endangerment, misconduct in office and other offenses. Police said Vanderpool was HIV-positive and he was accused of knowingly attempting to expose someone to the virus.

Vanderpool allegedly “deprived the woman of the right to be free from unreasonable seizure by a person acting under color of law, which includes the right to be free from unwanted sexual assault by a police officer,” federal prosecutors said. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Vanderpool, who was working for Fairmount Heights Police, stopped the 19-year-old woman, who didn’t have a driver’s license, Vanderpool called to have her car impounded, police said. At the station, Vanderpool threatened to take her to jail if she didn’t have sex with him and, feeling unsafe and without a way to leave, she agreed, according to charging documents.

An attorney for Vanderpool didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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