HOUSTON - A jury decided to send a police officer to prison for raping a woman he arrested.
Abraham Joseph, 29, was found guilty Thursday of two counts of aggravated sexual assault. On Monday, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Joseph kidnapped a waitress outside of El Diamante Nite Club, 3416 W. Fuqua, on Jan. 2, 2011, while he was on duty. Prosecutors said Joseph handcuffed her, drove her to a secluded section of Townwood Park, 3600 Simsbrook, and raped her.
"I'm not surprised by the sentence in light of the allegations that came out in the punishment," defense attorney Nicole DeBorde said.
On Friday, prosecutors called several women to the stand. The women claim that they were also sexually assaulted by Joseph.
In closing arguments in the punishment phase, prosecutors told the jury that Abraham used his authority to intimidate several women.
"Truth of the matter is you have been sitting in the courtroom for a month with a serial rapist. I hope that's an experience you never have again," prosecutor Heyward Carter said.
The victim said Joseph was dressed in his uniform and armed when she was kidnapped.
Prosecutors said Joseph originally arrested the woman and a man in in the parking lot of the night club. The woman claims that Joseph dropped the man off on the side of the road, took her to the park and then raped her while she was still handcuffed.
Joseph's attorney claimed the sex was consensual.
Five women and seven men served on the jury.
DeBorde said she has already filed an appeal of the verdict. She said she is withdrawing from the case and Joseph will be assigned an appellate attorney.
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