Bakersfield cop accused of raping burglary victim

Bakersfield cop accused of raping burglary victim
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — New details are emerging about an officer accused of withholding recovered stolen property from a woman in exchange for sexual favors.

Eyewitness News obtained search warrants for that case and another case in which the same officer is accused of raping a woman while on duty.

Officer Patrick Lefler was arrested July 18, accused of trying to coerce a woman into having sex with him in exchange for the return of her stolen property that police recovered.

Since that arrest was made public, another woman came forward claiming she was sexually assaulted by Lefler.

The officer is accused of forcible rape while on duty, according to a search warrant obtained by Eyewitness News. According to the document, a victim came forward claiming Lefler raped her while following up on a robbery at her home.

The warrant was granted and officers searched Lefler’ s home in southwest Bakersfield. Investigations looked for evidence, such as DNA, bodily fluids left on uniforms, and a 16- to 20-inch baton the victim said Lefler used to penetrate her.

Lefler hasn't been arrested or charged in this alleged crime. The victim only recently came forward, the documents say, because she feared for her safety.

Eyewitness News asked for a legal clarification of allegations of this nature. Defense Attorney Kyle Humphrey explained the law regarding government authority and rape.

"A lot of times people will submit to government authority, it's not really done by violence, the force or violence is the status of the public official," said Humphrey.

Investigation of the case is still underway. Friday, police Chief Greg Williamson said they won't make any comments at this time.

Lefler is set to be in court on the charges he was originally arrested on. Those include possession of stolen property, making a false report and making annoying phone calls.

He is now out on bail.