Case Involving Alleged Sexual Attack by Police Officer During Traffic Stop In New York

In People v. Bennett (79 NY2d 464 [1992]), the victim was stopped by a police officer who advised her that she had been driving erratically and had failed to signal a lane change. The officer instructed the victim to leave her car, walk a straight line and then ordered her to go to the passenger seat of his patrol car. Once in the police vehicle, he told her to blow in his face as a sobriety test. When the victim did so the officer began to fondle her. He then told her that he was going to "do it" with her but that he had to go back to the barracks for a condom. the victim followed the officer to the barracks in her own car but the officer had retained her license and registration. At the barracks, the officer put the victim in the police car and told her to wait while he went inside to get a condom. When he returned they drove off to a secluded area where the officer sexually attacked the victim. The victim testified that she was terrified throughout this entire period and, since the defendant was armed, she felt that any escape attempt would be futile. Likewise, in People v. Smolen (166 AD2d 248 [1st Dept 1990]), a case involving sodomy and sexual abuse, the victim testified that he was "frozen in fear" and the reason why he complied with defendant's requests was because he did not want to die.