The trooper, Tremaine Jackson, 43, was arrested Tuesday after a monthslong investigation, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a news release.
Eight victims have been identified so far, authorities said. Others have been urged to come forward.
Jackson, who worked for the department for 13 years, has been “relieved of duty,” Col. Frank Milstead, the director of the Department of Public Safety, said at a news conference Tuesday.
Milstead said he was “horrified” when he first learned of the investigation into Jackson.
“And to think that under the color of authority, the trust that the public places on the shoulders of law enforcement, is betrayed by a single trooper that tarnishes the reputation of an agency or a profession and victimizes women on a traffic stop is horrifying,” he added.
The former trooper had most recently been assigned to the department’s Metro Motors District, the news release said.
“Trooper Jackson was using his position as an Arizona state trooper to bargain leniency for favor,” Milstead said.
The department first became aware of a problem with Jackson’s behavior May 19, when it received a complaint that he had made “inappropriate” comments to a female motorist, the colonel said.
A second complaint, on June 11, accused Jackson of inappropriate language and sexual abuse. He was placed on administrative leave that day, Milstead said.
Investigators began contacting other women who had been stopped or cited by Jackson. Of the incidents described by the eight victims who have been identified, the oldest dates to October 2018.
The 61 charges against Jackson include two counts of sexual abuse, eight counts of unlawful imprisonment, eight counts of kidnapping, eight counts of forgery and eight counts of tampering with a public record.
At the news conference, Milstead said that the forgery charges stemmed from falsifying departmental work sheets or citations and that the kidnapping charges stemmed from keeping people an “inordinate” amount of time when they were not under arrest.
Sgt. Kameron Lee, a public information office supervisor, said Wednesday that the department did not know whether Jackson had retained a lawyer.
Law enforcement officers have made headlines periodically in recent years after accusations that they abused their authority to target women.
Leonel Marines, a former Florida police officer, spent years abusing his access to sensitive information to target women for dates, an investigation by his department found. He committed several violations “involving gross misconduct,” broke departmental rules on records security and had sex on duty, the department said.
Two New York Police Department detectives faced more than 40 sexual abuse charges and 25 years in prison in 2017 after being accused of handcuffing an 18-year-old woman and raping her in the back of a police van. However, the woman’s testimony was discarded and officers were indicted on lesser charges including bribery and official misconduct. They received five years of probation and no jail time.
Daniel Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer who was accused of raping women while on duty, was convicted in 2015 of 18 of 36 counts of sexual assault and later sentenced to 263 years in prison. Prosecutors said Holtzclaw had targeted poor black women with criminal backgrounds.
In closing arguments, the lead prosecutor was quoted as saying, “He counted on the fact no one would believe them and no one would care.”
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