A 13-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff's Department resigned Friday two days after he was charged with raping a female suspect in a case he was investigating, a department spokesman said.
Former investigator Robert Minty, 37, faces three counts of rape in West Municipal Court in Westminster. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a minimum of three and a maximum of 24 years in state prison.
Minty could not be reached for comment Friday. He is free on his own recognizance and his promise to appear for a preliminary hearing on May 19.
Minty had been on paid administrative leave from the department and could have been fired pending the findings of an administrative investigation, Sheriff's Lt. Richard J. Olson said Friday.
"In view of the fact that he came in and resigned, there will be no administrative investigation," Olson said. "Some people do that (resign) rather than face an administrative investigation. I don't know what his motivation was."
Minty's attorney, Byron K. McMillan, said he had not consulted with his client about the resignation.
Claims Woman Consented
According to a document filed in court, Minty, who is married and has one child, had told authorities that the 20-year-old woman consented to having sex with him. However, Minty also told investigators that he had been wrong to do it.
"I don't think it's appropriate for him to comment on the case," McMillan said Friday. "It will be a jury trial, and the chips will fall where they may."
Previously, McMillan had said that "sexual intercourse does not constitute rape" and that Minty "did not commit rape."
Minty is accused of raping the Healdsburg, Calif., woman at a Midway City motel. She was a suspect in a case involving solicitation of magazine subscriptions without a license and theft of money from a magazine customer.
Minty allegedly persuaded her to travel to Orange County. He made flight arrangements for her, picked her up at Los Angeles International Airport on March 24 and drove her in his car to a Beach Boulevard motel room that he had rented that day, Olson said.
Spent Night in Motel
Minty spent the night in the room with the woman, who did not object because "she was scared and afraid to go to jail," according to a crime report by sheriff's investigators filed in court.
However, the woman told investigators that Minty forced himself on her and had sex with her three times, the report said.
The next morning, Minty drove the woman to the courthouse in Westminster, where she pleaded guilty and paid a $450 fine for a misdemeanor charge in connection with the magazine sales.
Minty took her out to lunch, then dropped her off at South Coast Plaza, promising to return after work and drive her to the airport, Olson said. However, the woman called a rape crisis center in Laguna Beach and said she had been raped by Minty.
Minty had told investigators that he never planned to have sex with the woman but she had "insisted" he stay with her, according to the report.