HOUSTON - A Houston Police Department officer accused of sexually assaulting women while he was on duty went before a judge on Tuesday, and was named as a suspect in five other attacks involving four women.
Abraham Joseph, 27, has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault.
Houston police said the Special Crimes Division was notified on Jan. 2 that a woman said a uniformed HPD officer sexually assaulted her. Investigators said Joseph kidnapped a waitress from outside the El Diamante nightclub in southwest Houston.
Court papers said he handcuffed the woman and drove her to a nearby park, where he raped her on the back of his Houston police patrol car, according to prosecutors. She told investigators that he was in uniform and armed when it happened.
After an investigation, the Special Crimes Division and Internal Affairs Division said there was sufficient cause to immediately relieve Joseph of his duties the same day.
Prosecutors said that they are talking to four other women who may have been sexually assaulted by Joseph in the past five months.
Joseph is being held in the Harris County Jail on $500,000 bond.
Prosecutors have asked that he be declared a flight risk because they fear that Joseph might flee to India, the country of his birth.
"He is an American citizen. He's proud to be an American citizen and he should be treated like an American citizen. He doesn't have dual citizenship and he cannot walk into an Indian consulate and obtain a passport," said Nicole Deborde, defense attorney.
If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
Joseph worked southwest patrol for HPD. He joined the department in July 2009.
Joseph is married and his wife is expecting a child next month.
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