Rape Joke Cops Suspended

Officers handed three and five day suspensions on Wednesday

APD Chief Acevedo
APD Chief Acevedo

Police Chief Art Acevedo levied suspensions against the two officers involved in the late October rape joke controversy Wednesday, sending Officer Michael Castillo home for three days and his colleague Mark Lytle – the one actually responsible for making the crude joke – for five.

In addition, Acevedo mandated that both participate in a training group that works with sexual assault victims, though he wasn’t so clear as to what that training group will be, or exactly how the officers would participate. He cited both officers for two violations: one for personal conduct and another for “Acts Bringing Discredit Upon the Department.”

The violations came to light on Oct. 30 after local defense attorney Drew Gibbs released YouTube dashboard camera footage of the two officers cracking a joke about their collective inability to “unrape” a woman walking past, but the incident itself occurred in May, while the officers were investigating a car accident.

Acevedo said he took into consideration throughout Internal Affairs investigations of both officers that found their “participation in an unprofessional and inappropriate conversation was not reflective of [their] total work performance or work product.” He called their actions “embarrassing” and their comments “hurtful.” Both officers accepted their involvement. In a memo issued late on Wednesday, Acevedo noted Castillo’s insistence that the comments were “not reflective of either his belief regarding the heinous nature of the crime … or his compassion for the victims of sexual assault.”

Both Castillo and Lytle had clean disciplinary track records when they were brought before Internal Affairs for investigation. Acevedo said that neither of the two plan to appeal their suspensions.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Art Acevedo
Art Acevedo to Leave APD for Houston
Art Acevedo to Leave APD for Houston
Tenured police chief expected to formally accept HPD job today

Chase Hoffberger, Nov. 17, 2016

Acevedo to San Antonio?
Acevedo to San Antonio?
APD chief finalist for SAPD chief

Michael King, Aug. 20, 2015

More by Chase Hoffberger
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Local journo Alex Hannaford’s Dead Man Talking podcast investigates the case against a man on death row

Nov. 16, 2018

EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
Association to cast ballot between incumbent Tony Marquardt or challenger Selena Xie

Nov. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Mark Lytle, Art Acevedo, Michael Castillo, Drew Gibbs

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle