Woman takes stand, says ex-OPD officer intimidated her into sex



ORLANDO, Fla. - A woman who claims a former Orlando police officer sexually battered her testified in court Tuesday.

Tuesday began with opening statements and a witness' testimony in the trial of former Orlando police Officer Roderick Johnson.

Johnson, who served 20 years as an Orlando officer, is accused of demanding sex from the woman during an arrest in October 2012.

Prosecutors said Johnson used his gun and badge to intimidate his victim, assaulting her inside a police substation while she still had a handcuff wrapped around one of her wrists.

"No was not an option. She succumbed to a law enforcement officer. Gun on his belt, badge. With the knowledge she could be charged with more, she succumbed to that. As you listen to the testimony in this case, the state is confident you will find Roderick Johnson guilty of two counts of sexual battery," said prosecutor Ryan Williams.

The defense insisting the accuser in the case can't be believed, and Johnson's 20 years as a police officer are being tarnished by lies made up by a woman trying to find a way out of trouble.

"She made a decision in her head that she was going to tell this story because in her own words, 'I'm looking out for myself,'" said defense attorney Robert Nesmith.

The defense questioning of the accuser in the case was tense and one exchange led the woman appeal to the judge to take a break, according to Channel 9's Mark Joyella.

"I think there's evidence in this case that's going to prove Mr. Johnson didn't do it. It's not going to be a he-said, she-said case," said Nesmith.

Before the break, the alleged victim told her side of the story to jurors.

"I was approached with the question, 'Is your mother as fine as you?' Now, it went from a friendly tone to I was weirded out, like, 'Why was he talking about my mother?'" she described.

Channel 9 first learned about the case when an internal affairs report claimed Johnson committed the act and then lied about it.

"He's bigger than me. He's an officer. He still had his gun on," the woman told the court.

The alleged victim told investigators she had been arrested for driving a stolen car and that Johnson took her to the police substation, sexually assaulted her and then gave her money before taking her to jail.

The woman told Channel 9 earlier this year that she was stunned when Johnson suggested she perform a sexual act while she was in his custody.

"Wow, I didn't know what to think when he said that," the woman said.

The woman, who conceded she had previous arrests for prostitution, said she wasn't sure what would happen if she told the police officer no, especially after he took her to the police substation instead of jail.

"I just went ahead," she said. "I was intimidated."

Johnson was arrested in December, but he was allowed to retire from the Orlando Police Department, which means he's currently getting retirement benefits.

If convicted, however, Johnson could lose those benefits.

Lawyers for the victim said it's a case of special treatment.

The judge said he expects the trial will last about three days.