Early last year a transgendered prostitute came into a police station stating she had just been raped in the back of a police car. She had been picked up by Officer Nash, cuffed in the squad car, and told to lie down in the back seat as he drove to a remote location. Once there she was forced to commit sexual acts on Nash before he took her back into town and dropped her off near a school. She immediately caught a bus to the police station. A rape kit would later show Nash’s DNA present on the victim.
Although prosecutor Trey Banack stated “A police officer who is a criminal does not deserve mercy from the system he protects”, it was his office that negotiated a extremely merciful plea agreement with Nash. He agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor official oppression and the prosecutor agreed to not pursue a felony charge. Oh—and they agreed not to pursue charges in another case where Nash was accused of raping a citizen in 2008. So while Banack sought the maximum one year sentence for the misdemeanor charge, he can hardly talk about holding officers accountable for criminal actions.
The Texas Civil Rights Project filed a complaint on Nash with the San Antonio Police Department in July, 2009, six months before the rape accusations surfaced. The complaint involved a domestic assault where a woman was being “brutally beaten” in downtown San Antonio. Nash allegedly stopped witnesses (including a domestic violence attorney, teacher, banker, and a firefighter) from helping the woman, threatening them with arrest, and did not take steps to arrest the individual who had assaulted her. He was said to be “callous” to the woman and the witnesses, threatening to arrest the attorney who offered suggestions on how to assist the woman. Interestingly, however, nothing would come of these complaints. Nor would anything come of accusations Nash unlawfully arrested two street preachers across from a gay bar one night back in 2008.
Maybe the prosecution thinks they truly delivered justice in this case. I don’t see how, but what’s done is done. Nash has been sentenced to a year and under the terms of the agreement the state of Texas can’t pursue charges for either sexual assault. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation isn’t bound by the agreement. Join us in calling on the FBI to open a “color of law” civil rights investigation into former officer Nash. Those tasked with enforcing the law must at least be held to at least the same standards as those of us who they are paid to protect.