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Officer arrested
on charge of sexually assaulting transsexual

Officer arrested
on charge of sexually assaulting transsexual

A police officer in San Antonio has been arrested on a federal charge of sexually assaulting a transsexual. Dean Gutierrez, 45, was indicted Tuesday on a charge of deprivation of civil rights by committing aggravated sexual abuse while on duty. The 16-year veteran of the police force was arrested Thursday.

Gutierrez is accused of forcing Gabriel Bernal, 22, who goes by the name Starlight, to perform sex acts the night of June 10. Police reports and court documents allege that Gutierrez forced Bernal into his police car after picking her up. Gutierrez was released on a $100,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

Gutierrez had been on administrative duty since his arrest in July on state charges, on which he has not been indicted. "We understood charges were ultimately going to be presented to a federal grand jury, and we were given the indictment today," said one of Gutierrez's lawyers, Ed Garcia. "We intend to review it very carefully. There are a number of inconsistencies we believe will lead to him being exonerated once the trial is over with."

Gutierrez was placed on indefinite suspension Thursday, said Sgt. Gabe Trevino, a department spokesman. Indefinite suspension is tantamount to being fired. (AP)

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