Former San Diego police officer ordered to stand trial for rape - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Former San Diego police officer ordered to stand trial for rape

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A former San Diego police officer accused of raping a prostitute in Presidio Park while on duty, after threatening to take her to jail if she didn't have sex with him, was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on sexual assault and other charges.

Daniel Edward Dana, 26, faces more than 17 years in state prison if convicted of rape under the color of authority, oral copulation under the color of authority, false imprisonment and assault by an officer.

The 35-year-old alleged victim, in testimony during a morning-long preliminary hearing, said she met Dana in late April while she was working as a prostitute on El Cajon Boulevard.

She said she was standing by a Denny's restaurant when she saw Dana's patrol car and immediately tried to walk away because she was already on probation for a prostitution conviction.

The woman said Dana stopped his patrol car in a nearby alley.

"I said, I know I'm not supposed to be here," she said. "He said he wasn't out here for that."

The alleged victim said Dana got out of his patrol car and introduced himself, then asked for her name and cell phone number, which he entered into his cell phone.

"He was just really nice," she said.

The two later exchanged pleasant text messages, and she thought of the defendant as someone who she could call to warn her of police activity in prostitution areas, the witness testified.

Sometime later, the woman said Dana texted her from his Jacuzzi, saying he wished she could be there with him.

"I thought he wanted a 'date,"' the woman testified.

She said she had no problem with the idea of having sex with a police officer as long as he paid.

On the night of May 10, the woman said she went to a downtown club looking for clients because there was too much police activity on El Cajon Boulevard. She said she got a ride home from the club, then changed clothes and headed out to work on El Cajon Boulevard.

Around 2:30 a.m., the woman said she got a text then a call from Dana, but she was busy with a potential client. She said the client fell through and she asked the man to drop off her off at a nearby 7-Eleven, where the defendant pulled up into a side alley in his patrol car.

The alleged victim said she and Dana made small talk near the rear of his patrol car, then he demanded sex.

"He said either I give him what he wants or I go to jail," the woman testified. "Either I have sex with him or I go to jail."

The woman said her first reaction was, "Are you serious?" but realized the officer wasn't joking.

She testified that Dana put her in the back of his patrol car, then drove off.

"Did you feel safe at that point?" prosecutor Annette Irving asked.

"No," the woman replied. "I was just scared. I didn't know where I was going. I didn't know what he was going to do."

After 3 a.m., the officer pulled into a dark park and told the woman to sit in the front seat, the witness said.

"Did you feel like you had a choice?" Irving asked.

"No," the alleged victim testified.

She said she smoked a cigarette while Dana took off his belt and walkie-talkie.

She said Dana demanded that she perform oral sex on him, then had sexual intercourse with her.

After the sexual encounter, during which she said the defendant also licked her neck and breast, she put her pants back on and Dana drove her back to El Cajon Boulevard, she testified.

On the drive back, the woman said she licked her fingers and wiped saliva on the front seat of Dana's patrol car to prove that she was there.

She said she wasn't sure what she was going to do, but a female cab driver convinced her to call 911 when she got home, which she did.

The woman was questioned by officers and taken for a sexual assault exam.

Defense attorney William Wolfe said the alleged victim routinely violated her probation by going out to work as a prostitute on El Cajon Boulevard.

"She's not afraid of going to jail, she goes there routinely," Wolfe told Judge Charles Rogers.

The attorney said the sex could have been consensual and called the alleged victim's credibility into question.

But Irving said the woman's story has remained consistent from the beginning and that, combined with the DNA evidence found in Dana's patrol car and evidence that the ex-officer drove the route the alleged victim said he did that night, makes her story credible, the prosecutor said.

"There is no reason not to believe this victim," Irving told the judge.

Dana resigned immediately after his arrest because he knew he would be fired, Wolfe said.

Rogers ruled there was enough evidence to proceed to trial and ordered the defendant back to court on June 28 for arraignment and to get a trial date.

Dana, who is free on $300,000 bail, served four years in the Marine Corps and joined the San Diego Police Department after being honorably discharged from the military in 2007.


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