The woman who accused Maryland Police Officer Ryan Macklin of rape is reportedly an illegal immigrant, according to a Wednesday report by WTTG-TV. The incident purportedly occurred during a traffic stop last Thursday.
What are the new details?
A spokesperson for the Prince George's County Police Department told TheBlaze that according to current evidence, the department does not believe the alleged incident had anything to do with the woman's legal status. The spokesperson also refused to comment on the woman's legal status.
The arrest was leaked to a local media outlet and sensationalized, the spokesperson said. The sensationalism had only brought fear and apprehension to the community while the department attempted to investigate the incident, the spokesperson added.
WTTG reported that Macklin's wife is an immigration attorney, and is currently pregnant with the couple's first child. The spokesperson declined to provide any comment on Macklin's wife or her alleged employment as an immigration lawyer. It is not known whether Macklin's wife had been affiliated with the victim in any way.
Maritza Solano, the director of CASA — an organization that works with Latino and immigrant communities in Maryland — told the station that the group believes the unnamed woman was targeted.
"We believe she was targeted," Solano said. "This is known as a community mostly made up of immigrants, many with different statuses. It's not coincidental that she would be stopped and asked for that type of favor in exchange for her not to be reported or be cited."
The station reported that according to charging documents, the unidentified woman was on her way to an early start to work at a construction site when Macklin pulled her over in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.
Charging documents noted that Macklin reportedly attempted to touch the woman's breast during the stop and demanded that she pull her vehicle around the backside of a nearby store. The unnamed woman apparently complied, and Macklin reportedly entered her vehicle, where he purportedly forced her to perform oral sex on him.
Macklin also reportedly wanted to have sex with the woman, but the woman's friend — whom she had called earlier — arrived at the scene. Instead, Macklin reportedly got into his cruiser and left.
What did the police chief say?
Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said that he does not believe the victim's legal status was a factor, or that it had anything to do with her personal history.
"There were concerns raised that perhaps this event had something to do with the victim's personal history or her immigration status. I don't believe that to be the case," Stawinski said.
Law enforcement arrested and charged Macklin, a six-year veteran of the department, on Monday with first-degree rape, second-degree rape, perverted sexual acts, second-degree assault, and fourth-degree sex offense.
The department suspended Macklin without pay pending an investigation into the incident.