A woman who told police that a Maryland officer pulled her over and raped her believes the officer attacked her after learning that she lives in the United States illegally, according to a representative of a legal organization working on her behalf.
Prince George's County Officer 1st Class Ryan Macklin was jailed on charges of rape and assault after the woman reported that he pulled her over in a traffic stop and then attacked her early the morning of Thursday, Oct. 11.
County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said Monday, after he announced the charges, that police do not believe Macklin targeted the woman because of her immigration status.
But the victim believes Macklin attacked her after after seeing she had a federally non-compliant driver's license, which indicated her immigration status, Lizette Olmos, a spokeswoman for the immigration advocacy and assistance organization CASA de Maryland, said Wednesday.
"She indicated that after the police officer saw her driver's license and noticed that she was undocumented, that's when the aggression began toward her. That's when she realized she was in trouble," Olmos said.
The woman told police that Macklin — a former officer of the month — pulled her over about 1 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 in Langley Park. Then, she said he forced her to perform a sex act in her car in a nearby parking lot.
Sources told News4 that Macklin pulled the woman over in front of a furniture store on University Boulevard. Then, he had her go behind a discount store across the street. Police officers often use that store's parking lot as a cut-through to a gas station next door.
It's unclear why Macklin would have been in Langley Park, in District 1, the night of the crime. He was assigned to District 3, miles away in Palmer Park.
Macklin pleaded not guilty and learned in court Wednesday that he will remain in jail. His bond hearing was postponed until next week. His lawyers are set to argue that he should be released on bond because he does not pose a threat to the community.
Macklin's wife, who is pregnant, covered her face as she left court with her husband's defense team.
Maryland residents who live in the United States illegally are able to get driver's licenses and identifications cards after meeting several criteria, including submitting tax information. Federally non-compliant IDs in the state are printed with "Not acceptable for federal purposes," a sample from 2014 shows.