New info out in sex case involving OPD officer

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ORLANDO, Fla. - WFTV has uncovered new information Wednesday about an Orlando police officer accused of forcing a woman to have sex with him before taking her to jail.

Rod Johnson was arrested last month, and he turned in his badge on Jan. 1.

But Whitney Boan, the victim's attorney, claims Johnson got special treatment.

Boan said she believes the Orlando Police Department would have arrested anyone else immediately on the evidence detectives had, rather than letting prosecutors make the call.

Boan said she and her client also want to know why Johnson was allowed to retire instead of being fired, and they're asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate.

Channel 9's Kathi Belich said OPD insiders said Johnson's nickname was "Teflon Rod," because he kept his job despite misdemeanor charges and various policy violations over the years.

The woman who accused Johnson of coercing her into sex on her way to jail last year is now accusing some of his fellow officers of harassing her by continuing to question her for an internal affairs investigation after prosecutors asked them to stop, partly because of the criminal case against Johnson.

"They didn't really believe what she was saying, and they were trying to get her to say something different, perhaps," said Boan.

Boan also questions why Johnson wasn't fired once authorities found he lied about the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape. Instead, he was first suspended with pay, then allowed to retire last month and collect retirement benefits.

"I don't know what kind of message that sends to other law enforcement officers in that agency or in other agencies," said Boan.

According to detectives, Johnson first denied that he had ever taken the woman to a police substation, then admitted to it, then denied she had gone in with him, then admitted to it.

He denied giving the woman money, then admitted to it, detectives said, but he still denies having sex with her.

Chief Paul Rooney told Belich he couldn't fire Johnson because the criminal and internal investigations aren't done yet, and either way, Johnson gets his retirement pay because he has 20 years with OPD.

If Johnson is convicted, he could lose his benefits.

The FDLE said it will decide this week whether to get involved.