In September, Maryland police officer Martique Vanderpool pulled a woman over for a routine traffic stop and used his position of power to coerce her into having sex with him. As if that’s not grotesque enough, he also knowingly exposed her to HIV.
The woman was initially pulled over for an unknown reason, but during the stop, Vanderpool discovered she was driving without a license. He called to have her car impounded and, during the process, he noticed she had condoms in her armrest. According to legal documents, he then proceeded to ask her if she was a sex worker.
Once her car had been towed, he took her to the police station and asked, “So, what are we going to do about this?”, referring to her car. He then used his position of power to coerce (read: force) her into having sex with him in exchange for getting it back.
Fearing for her safety, the woman did what she was asked (read: forced). Afterward, Vanderpool slapped her with a number of citations before taking her to get her car.
The (very brave!) woman reported the incident and Vanderpool resigned from the police department in November 2019. In December, he was arrested for the assault but later released on bond.
As investigators worked to prepare for the trial, they discovered that Vanderpool had HIV.
On January 23, only after the discovery of HIV, Vanderpool was arrested and held without bond (apparently raping someone isn’t horrific enough). He has been charged with 11 counts which include first-degree rape and knowingly exposing someone to HIV.
Now, Police Chief Hank Stawinski is speaking out publically and asking anyone who witnessed or experienced misconduct at the hands of Vanderpool to come forward. The Police Chief said that the HIV revelation “creates in [him] a concern” that others could be affected (again, apparently a rapist isn’t worthy of concern, but a rapist with HIV is).
Thankfully, Vanderpool is behind bars and will stay there until his trial. Who knows how many lives the victim saved because of her bravery to press charges, despite his position of power.
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