San Antonio Police Officer Jackie Neal, 40, was on-duty Friday night when he allegedly pulled over a 19-year-old woman and raped her. He was arrested Saturday morning on a charge of felony assault and released on $20,000 bond.
Neal, an 11-year veteran of the force, told the woman her car was reported stolen. She showed him a sales slip for the recently purchased car, but he made her get out of the vehicle so he could pat her down. The driver demanded a female officer for the pat down but her request was ignored.
Neal proceeded to grope the woman during the pat down, put her into handcuffs, and then forced her into the back of his car where, according to the woman, he raped her. He instructed her after to keep it a secret though she reported it later that day.
While SAPD squad cars are outfitted with cameras, Neal's camera did not have a functioning hard drive at the time of the assault. According to Police Chief William McManus, Neal would have "been aware that the system was not functioning."
Even more horrifying, this is the third accusation of sexual misconduct against Neal. McManus told the San Antonio Express-News that a different woman made a "similar complaint" against Neal several years ago, but the woman "later refused" to cooperate in an investigation.
And in September, Neal was suspended for three days for dating an 18-year-old member of the Police Explorer program, a program designed to encourage young people to pursue careers in police work. After his suspension, Neal was transferred to the night shift because it makes sense to give known sexual predators free reign in the dark.
But at least the SAPD is siding with the victim. "There is no such thing a consensual sex on duty," according to McManus. "I feel silly even saying that we won't tolerate it. Of course we won't tolerate it. There is no gray area. This is a criminal offense." He also praised the victim for "having the courage to come forward and having the confidence in the SAPD to handle the case effectively."
Pending an indictment, Neal will continue to receive pay from the SAPD.
Update: The headline of this post has been changed to reflect the fact that Neal has not yet been convicted.