California Officer Faces Sex Charges

A veteran San Jose police officer is facing serious charges stemming from allegations of the inappropriate pat-down search and arrest of an 18-year-old woman earlier in December.Police say the patrol officer -- 41-year-old Julio Morales -- has been charged with false imprisonment and sexual battery over his detention and physical search of the alleged victim several weeks ago.According to the victim, what Morales did during the incident wasn't a pat down; it was sexual battery."The incident occurred on December 3rd,” said San Jose Police spokesman Officer Enrique Garcia. “The victim reported she was walking in the area of Third and Keyes and she was detained by a patrol officer. During that stop, the officer conducted a pat-down search of her body."The victim reported that Officer Morales touched her inappropriately during the search, then put her in the patrol car and drove her to a nearby home and dropped her off. She immediately informed her mother of the incident."We launched a criminal investigation and yesterday the D.A.'s office filed a complaint," explained Officer Garcia. "Subsequently we obtained an arrest warrant today. And so the officer self-surrendered at the Santa Clara County jail."Garcia said San Jose Police Department conducts thousands of stops and searches every year. They say it's very uncommon for a suspect to complain of inappropriate behavior by a cop.In addition to being charged with false imprisonment and sexual battery, Morales has been placed on paid leave.In the meantime, San Jose police say their pat-down search and other policies are unequivocal. Cops are allowed to conduct searches of opposite-sex suspects but the procedures are very clear. Whenever a female suspect is placed in a patrol car, the officer is required to notify the police dispatcher.There's no word on whether Morales, a 13-year veteran of the force, followed that procedure.What KTVU research has revealed about Officer Morales is that he and another San Jose police officer were involved in a fatal shooting of a suspect after a three-hour stand-off back in 2004. An internal police investigation found no misconduct.Officer Morales was released on $20,000 bond. The identity of the alleged victim has not been released.

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