A former Fairmount Heights, Maryland, police officer has been charged with raping a woman after a traffic stop last year, and of doing so knowing he had HIV — and the police want anyone who has been in contact with him to get in touch with them.
Martique Vanderpool was indicted by a grand jury on 11 counts, including first- and second-degree rape, assault, engaging with a sex act with someone in custody, reckless endangerment and other charges.
“These are particularly troubling allegations,” said Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski at a news conference Wednesday, saying that Vanderpool’s HIV status “raises new concerns” about public health as well as police conduct.
Stawinski, whose department took over the investigation after being contacted by the Fairmount Heights police, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said that anyone else who may have been victimized by Vanderpool, or who was in a consensual relationship with him, should call (301) 856-2660 to give the police information and to learn about next steps.
Last September, investigators have said, Vanderpool arrested a woman during a traffic stop at Sheriff Road and Cabin Branch Drive in Capitol Heights, Maryland, took her back to the police station and demanded sex in exchange for setting her free.
The woman complied, and afterward, Vanderpool gave her several citations and drove her to an impound lot to pick up her car, the investigators said.
Vanderpool resigned in November and was arrested Dec. 2.
Braveboy said Vanderpool’s HIV status was discovered “during the curse of the investigation.” Stawinski credited a “sharp-eyed” investigator.
The woman was provided with “preventative medication” as soon as Vanderpool’s HIV status was learned, Stawinski said.
Braveboy wouldn’t say whether the woman had contracted HIV from Vanderpool. She said the law doesn’t make a distinction as to whether the disease is actually transmitted, or whether a sex act is consensual.
Earlier this month, the first-degree rape charge was dropped by a judge, but the grand jury brought the charge.
“We are satisfied that the grand jury heard the evidence and returned appropriate charges,” Braveboy said.
WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.
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