Ex-Maryland officer charged with raping woman after traffic stop faces civil rights charge

A former Maryland police officer charged with raping a woman in a police station after a 2019 traffic stop is now facing a federal civil rights charge.

Martique Cabral Vanderpool, 32, of Fairmont Heights was indicted by a federal grand jury of deprivation of civil rights under color of law, according to a news release Thursday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

The federal charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Vanderpool was indicted in January 2020 by a Maryland grand jury on nearly a dozen state charges, including first- and second-degree rape, assault, engaging in a sex act with a person in custody and misconduct in office.

The former Fairmont Heights police officer was accused of arresting a 19-year-old woman during a traffic stop in Capitol Heights, Maryland, in September 2019, driving her back to the Fairmont Heights police station and demanding 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, authorities said.

Later, investigators discovered Vanderpool was HIV-positive at the time of the assault, leading to an additional charge of knowingly transferring or attempting to transfer to another person.

Vanderpool resigned from the police department in November 2019 and was arrested the following month.

The federal civil rights indictment returned Wednesday alleges Vanderpool deprived the woman of the right to be free from unreasonable seizure by an officer of the law, which includes the right to be free from unwanted sexual assault by a police officer.

The civil rights violation included kidnapping, the use or threatened use of a firearm, and aggravated sexual abuse of the victim, according to the indictment.

Vanderpool is due in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt at a later date.

A trial date on the state charges is set for February 2022.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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