By Mark F. Gray
AFRO Staff Writer
A former Fairmount Heights Police officer who had been previously charged with sexual assault, but was released, is now back in custody after being accused of raping a woman he pulled over and exposing her to HIV.
Martique Vanderpool was indicted Jan. 21 on new charges for allegedly raping a woman in Capitol Heights last September. The initial charges were dropped in December, but Prince George’s County police and prosecutors claim Vanderpool is HIV positive, and he is now facing new charges for possibly exposing the alleged victim to the virus that causes AIDS.
Law enforcement officials wouldn’t confirm whether the woman who accused him of rape contracted HIV, although reports say that she was given preventative medication to inhibit the threat of the potentially fatal disease.
Former Fairmount Heights Police officer Martique Vanderpool, who had been previously charged with sexual assault, but released, is back in custody for raping a woman and potentially exposing her to HIV. (Courtesy Photo)
However, Vanderpool’s ex-girlfriend told NBC-4 in Washington that he made her aware 2015 that he was HIV positive. Speaking in silhouette under altered audio, the ex-girlfriend said she had been raped before meeting the disgraced officer, and that she felt empathy for the alleged victim.
“This conduct creates concerns that we may have other people that have been impacted, whether as victims of crime or relationships with the individual in question,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski at a news conference on Jan. 22.
The latest charges stem from the incident on September 6, 2019, where Vanderpool is alleged to have forced a 19-year-old woman to have sex with him or face being arrested. Vanderpool is believed to have asked her to step out of the car, handcuffed her, then called for a tow truck to impound the vehicle during a traffic stop at Sheriff Road and Cabin Branch Drive not long before midnight.
Vanderpool and another officer are believed to have pulled the victim over, but Prince George’s County Police said they were still investigating whether a traffic violation occurred. According to the charges, Vanderpool asked the woman to exit the car because she didn’t have a driver’s license. The woman reportedly became upset, and Vanderpool told her he was going to have her car impounded according to the charging documents.
The same documents also claim another officer handcuffed the woman while Vanderpool called a tow truck as he found condoms in the armrest of her car. He then supposedly asked the woman if she was a prostitute and told her to have sex with him or be arrested and face jail time. The victim reportedly capitulated because she was scared and couldn’t leave the police station. After the sexual assault the woman was released from custody and allowed to leave.
Vanderpool was previously charged with first-degree rape and assault in December, but the earlier charges were dropped after a bond review. Another grand jury was convened and the investigation continued and Vanderpool was charged with rape and the additional charges.
Vanderpool reportedly filed a lawsuit against Fairmount Heights Police in October regarding an “emergency suspension action.” Authorities wouldn’t elaborate on whether he had any previous disciplinary issues.