Former Bakersfield CHP officer facing charges

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- After a nearly two month long investigation, the Kern County Sheriff's office has concluded its investigation of a sexual assault case involving two former Bakersfield CHP officers.

"We are recommending that charges of assault under the color of authority be filed against one of the officers," said Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt.

The case involves two unidentified former officers who allegedly sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at her east Bakersfield home in the early morning hours of Sept. 14.

The case now goes to the Kern County District Attorney's office for review and it will decide which charges to be filed against one or both officers.

"I am a little bit surprised and disappointed because I think in this particular instance, if the Sheriff's Office has determined an unlawful sexual assault took place, then stronger charges are appropriate, including the charge of rape," said Cleve McKnight, attorney for the 21- year-old woman.

Pruitt could not comment on the investigation or why criminal charges are being recommended against only one of the two former officers.
The two officers were called to the area of Highway 99 and Merle Haggard Dr. to conduct a field sobriety test on the woman. The woman was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

But the two former officers allowed her to drive home and followed her.

It was at the woman's home where one of the officers allegedly sexually assaulted the woman in her bedroom. The second officer waited in the living room.

A condom used in the alleged assault was left at the scene. It is now being tested for DNA and results are pending. The two officers have since resigned from the CHP.