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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Opinion

Police officer misuses trust of minor


The job of a police officer is to protect the citizens of the city it is assigned to. They are here to protect individuals from crimes and the criminals that commit them. The most despicable human beings are those that use their position of power to partake in atrocious crimes.

According to the Houston Chronicle, 27-year-old Houston police officer Ruben Anthony Carrera was charged with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. The relationship between Carrera and the girl came into light when the girl’s co-worker at Chick-fil-A told investigators about it.

The witness said Carrera frequented the franchise where the adolescent worked and was constantly seen hugging and kissing the girl.

The victim told officers that she was involved in forced sexual activity with Carrera on Oct. 20, who only stopped when he received a radio call.

ABC reported that when he was questioned about the assault, Carrera admitted he knew the girl’s age, but said the pair were involved in a dating relationship.

Court documents said Carrera admitted to visiting the girl’s home various times, said click2houston.

An individual younger than 17 years old is not old enough to consent to a sexual relationship with an individual years older than them. Due to this, whether the sexual encounter between Carrera and the girl was consensual or forced, Carrera partook in a crime.

“Based on the nature of this relationship, with this complainant, the DA’s office believes that there may be other victims out there,” said Tiffany Johnson, of the district attorney’s office. “We would like for those victims to contact the Houston Police Department if any young females have had any type of inappropriate contact with this police officer.”

Unfortunately, a lot of times, it is difficult for children to come forward with accusations towards authority figures. Tammy Hetmanick, who works for the Children’s Assessment Center, told ABC why this is; Hetmanick said these cases are often confusing for children.

“(Police officers) have a higher credibility, so children … are taught to trust in these individuals,” Hetmanick said. “When a child is betrayed by one of these individuals, it’s very concerning for us.”

Hetmanick also said that it is important to let young individuals know that “even people who they trust can sometimes betray that trust.”

Advocates for the safety of children are not the only ones who are concerned over the heinous crime this officer committed; Houston residents are concerned as well.

“I think Carrera’s statement of defense is not an acceptable excuse and demonstrates how irresponsible his actions were,” said health communications senior Dana Haffar. “He is clearly not fit to be an officer. That being said, I’m not sure if he should be charged with a felony without knowing more details.”

Details are not necessary to be known. Carrera is a criminal — end of story; he took his position as a police officer and abused it.

The victim in question was a young girl — much younger than Carrera — and he was the one in control in this equation. It does not matter if the relationship was consensual or not; Carrera had the option to put an end to the problem before it even started. He needs to be punished for and convicted of his crime.

Carrera is currently free on a $50,000 bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 13, the Houston Chronicle reports.

What he partook in was sexual assault. Unfortunately, due to his position as an officer, it is unable to determine whether he will be punished.

It is important for young children to realize that not everyone can be trusted. We live in a day and age where one must be careful no matter who they have contact with.

Children and adolescents are so trusting that they often let their guard down. Sometimes the ones who seem the most trustworthy end up being the most cunning, devious and despicable human beings.

Opinion columnist Trishna Buch is a print journalism senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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