WASHINGTON — The married D.C. police officer accused of a felony for threatening to kidnap or injure his 25-year-old girlfriend has been ordered released from jail.
Shackled and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, 52-year-old Calvin Willis nodded his head in court as Magistrate Judge Frederick Sullivan told him how close he was to staying behind bars until the case goes before a grand jury.
“The tie goes to the runner,” Sullivan said of the presumption that a defendant is innocent and will follow court orders.
Willis is accused of slamming his girlfriend into a wall during an argument and threatening her.
Prosecutors say that after Willis threatened his girlfriend, he went down to his car, put on his police uniform, and convinced the first officers who responded to a 911 call to leave.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenya Davis said in court that those officers’ actions are “under investigation”.
Outside the courthouse, Willis’s attorney, Harold Martin, said that while he understands the officers’ actions are under investigation, he doesn’t believe any of them have been interviewed.
Martin works with a law firm that works closely with D.C.’s police union.
In court, Davis argued Willis should be held behind bars because of the possibility he may try to disrupt the investigation or harm the woman who filed the complaint.
But the judge pointed to the apparent minor nature of the incident, citing a police report that the woman followed Willis out toward his car and pelted it with eggs.
Willis also has no criminal history.
As conditions of his release, Willis will be required to stay out of the District (with the exception of court-related business) and away from the woman and her children. He will also have to wear a GPS monitor and is not allowed to have any weapons. He lives with his wife in Prince George’s County.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers agree that Willis and the woman have two children together.
Martin, Willis’s lawyer, says Willis is the father of the woman’s two youngest children who are four years old and 10 months old. Court documents filed by the prosecution indicated Willis had started his relationship with the woman when he was on patrol, and she was just 15. In addition to the other children the woman has a 9-year-old son.
Martin says Willis didn’t begin a relationship with the woman until after she turned 18, and that he is not a threat to her.
“All I’m going to say is that there have been new developments in the case – I can’t comment on them – but I would argue that many of the representations contained in the [prosecution court filings] are not true,” Martin says.
He would not comment on whether or not Willis committed any crime.
Willis joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 1985. The department says he is on administrative leave with pay while the incident is investigated.