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Sexual Battery Case Involves CHP Officer

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Oceanside-based California Highway Patrol officer is under investigation for alleged sexual battery against an 18-year-old college student during a date, authorities said Friday.

The unidentified woman at first told Oceanside police that the CHP officer had raped her in a motel room Wednesday night, but Police Chief Bruce Dunne said late Friday “our investigation has concluded she was not raped.”

Dunne said undisclosed physical evidence and interviews persuaded authorities to instead treat the incident as a possible sexual battery which, as defined by law, can involve unwanted touching or feeling.

At first, the MiraCosta College student told investigators that the CHP officer, a 10-year veteran who has not been identified, asked her out to dinner and ended up taking her to an Oceanside motel room, where he purportedly removed her clothes and raped her after a struggle.

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Then, the woman alleged, the 40-year-old CHP officer drove her back to her car, which was parked outside the CHP station in Oceanside. Once there, she says, she screamed at several CHP officers inside the station that she had been raped, but they left her standing outside.

A girlfriend took the woman to Tri-City Medical Center, where she was examined and hospital personnel alerted Oceanside police.

By Friday, Oceanside police had interviewed the officer, who lives in the Los Angeles area and was on vacation during the time of the incident, according to authorities.

CHP Commissioner Maury Hannigan released a statement saying he had ordered CHP investigators to cooperate with Oceanside officers “in conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations involving all CHP personnel.”

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However, things had changed by late Friday afternoon, when Dunne announced that “the investigation into the alleged rape case . . . has revealed through reliable evidence that the victim in this case was not raped.

“Investigators have also developed reliable evidence that officers at the Highway Patrol office did not refuse to assist the victim in this case.”

Dunne said the officer remains under investigation on suspicion of sexual battery, but hasn’t been arrested.


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