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.

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Mark Lytle, Art Acevedo, Michael Castillo, Drew Gibbs

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