Charges Dropped In Fired Officer’s Sexual Assault Trial; 2 Other Trials Still Set
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The fired Fayetteville officer accused of sexually assaulting three women will not have to face trial to address one woman’s accusations.
Jamison Stiles was arrested last year after a woman said he handcuffed and sexually assaulted her while he was on duty. Stiles had two charges against him dropped this week, sparing him from a trial set for Thursday, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.
The former officer is still charged with rape, sexual assault, residential burglary and disclosure of documents to an unauthorized person. He has two trial dates set, for Aug. 18 and 25, concerning the other two women who have accused him of sexual assault or rape, prosecutors said.
Stiles’ Thursday trial date was stricken from the docket after prosecutors dropped charges of sexual assault and residential burglary. Prosecutor Brian Lamb said the pending trials prevent him from releasing details, but that the requirements of the case would not allow Thursday’s scheduled trial to move forward.
Stiles was arrested and fired in December 2013 after a woman said he handcuffed her after taking her home from a bar while on duty. He also sexually assaulted her that night, she said.
When the rape allegation surfaced, the Fayetteville Police Department launched an internal investigation into Stiles, after which a former police dispatcher accused him of sexually assaulting her at her home, records show.
The first report came on Nov. 10, when a woman told Fayetteville police an officer sexually assaulted her, according to court documents. She told police that in late October she woke up naked in her apartment at The Cliffs II after a night of drinking to a uniformed officer standing over her. The officer then pulled the blanket covering her down and grab her breast, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County prosecuting attorney.
Police said an internal investigation was then launched.
According to the preliminary report, Stiles and another officer had stopped an intoxicated woman on Block Avenue just minutes after midnight on Oct. 26. The woman was placed in Stiles’ patrol car. That’s when the other officer left the scene, according to Fayetteville Police Sgt. Craig Stout.
The preliminary report states Stiles told the woman he was “trying his best not to arrest her.” He then asked the woman if someone was at her house so he could just take her home. She told Stiles that she lived alone. That’s when Stiles turned off his police vehicle video recorder, according to the preliminary report.
Stout said that it is against policy for a police officer to ever turn off his recorder.
Investigators found that Stiles’ recorder was turned off again around the time the woman reported the officer to be in her apartment. Authorities used GPS data to place Stiles’ patrol car near The Cliffs II Apartments during the time his recorder was turned off, according to Stout.
Stiles, who lived at The Cliffs II, was given a master key to the apartment complex in his role as courtesy officer there, Stout said.
On behalf of The Cliffs II Apartments, Lindsey Management Co. issued a statement on Dec. 23, saying Stiles’ services as a courtesy officer ended there on Nov. 30. He worked there on an independent contractor basis, the statement says.
Investigators interviewed Stiles Dec. 3 concerning the allegations against him. The next day, he was placed on administrative leave and relieved of his badge and gun pending the outcome of the internal investigation, according to a police department news release.
On Dec. 16, Stiles was fired from the police department for eight policy violations, police said.
Stiles had been employed by the Fayetteville Police Department for almost three years before being fired, Stout said.
After his termination, a former Fayetteville Police Department dispatcher reported she had also been sexually assaulted at her home by Stiles this past July. She said Stiles was on-duty and in uniform at the time of the alleged assault, according to investigators.
A second police officer, David Nguyen, was fired in connection with the Stiles case for failing to report to supervisor that the dispatcher told him Stiles had sexually assaulted her, according to a police department internal investigation released on in February.
Police documents show at least three women complained about Stiles’ conduct in the six months leading up to the officer’s firing and arrest.
An internal investigation by the police department states Stiles made it a habit to switch off his mandatory video recorder, which is against department policy. In one such instance in June 2013, Stiles turned off his video recorder after stopping a woman’s vehicle on suspicion of failure to dim lights. The woman told the internal investigator stiles “spoke very inappropriately” before shining a light on her shirt and asking her if she knew her shirt was see-through. The woman was let off with a warning.
In another instance in July, the officer turned off his video recording after stopping a woman on suspicion of using improper safety equipment. Stiles made the woman pull behind the church before conversing with her and looking at her in a “sexual manner,” the woman told investigators. Stiles let the woman off with a warning, the documents state.
In another instance, a woman’s boyfriend made a complaint to police after Stiles helped the woman home from Dickson Street while he was on-duty, according to the internal investigation. Stiles found the woman on Dickson Street and instead of arresting her on suspicion of public intoxication, the officer drove her home, but turned off his video recording device. The woman and boyfriend made no specific allegations against Stiles, but said his conduct made the woman feel “uncomfortable.”