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'I felt like I had been violated'

By Michael Davis

mdavis@news-daily.com

A former Forest Park police officer drove a woman behind a building in the middle of the night, got out of the patrol car fondling himself, opened the back door and told the woman that, if she did what he said, everything would be all right, the alleged victim in a police officer rape trial testified Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Kenneth Schmidt, 40, pulled the woman and two companions over on Old Dixie Highway April 6, 2008 and cited her for traffic offenses. According to video of the traffic stop played in court, he allowed her to have her car towed from the scene back to her home, because her license had been suspended and she couldn't prove she had insurance.

Prosecutors say he was giving the woman, who is not being named because of the nature of the alleged crime, a "courtesy ride" home when he drove her to a remote location and forced her to perform a lewd act on him, and raped her.

Schmidt's attorneys have said the sex was consensual.

The woman testified Thursday that after Schmidt radioed the ending mileage of his trip to dispatchers, "he said he wasn't fixing to take me home."

She testified that she was told to lay down in the back seat of Schmidt's patrol car and turn off her cell phone. She said that when Schmidt pulled into the location where the alleged rape occurred, "I was laying down. I couldn't see nothing but the top of a building."

She testified that she saw a sign that read "heating and air conditioning" and only later learned the exact location of the building, on Ash Street.

Through tears, she described in detail being asked to perform a lewd act on the officer and being fondled. She said, at one point, she put her hands on his gun and radio and was told not to do anything stupid.

After the alleged rape, she said the officer got into the front seat as she remained in the back. "I felt like I had been violated," she said. "I felt like I wasn't gonna make it out from behind that building."

Schmidt, who had been with the Forest Park Police Department for about four months, was fired after the allegations surfaced.

Asked by one of Schmidt's attorneys, Michael Kam, why she did not try to attack Schmidt while he was in a compromising position, the alleged victim said she was too afraid.

"I was afraid ... I just thought if do anything crazy, like he said, that he was gonna leave me back there," she said.

After being dropped off at home by Schmidt, the alleged victim said she initially misled a female friend about what had happened. "At first, I told her that he tried to have sex with me," the woman said.

She said a few minutes later she broke down, and told the friend about the alleged rape.