Crime

Florida college police officer stalked, sexually battered family member, cops say

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.
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Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.

A police officer at a Florida university faces multiple felony charges after investigators say he sexually battered and stalked a family member.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the victim, identified as a family member, told a deputy on Wednesday that Winfred “Carl” Stocks Jr., 57, had been threatening her since the fall of 2012. Stocks worked as a police officer for Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland.

Stocks used “force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury” to sexually batter her, according to the arrest affidavit.

The affidavit also notes Stocks “maliciously threatened” to share nude photos of the woman that he secretly obtained to get her to have sex with him.

Stocks also repeatedly harassed and cyberstalked the victim through texting, according to the sheriff’s office. She showed investigators hundreds of text messages from the last six months that officials said showed Stocks controlling and influencing her and that he “frequently intimidated, isolated and humiliated her.”

“Carl Stocks betrayed this woman, and he betrayed his oath as a police officer to protect people. He systematically controlled the victim by maliciously stalking, threatening and both verbally and physically controlling her for sex,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release.

A new law that took effect in August makes companies, not individuals, liable for misconduct alleged in lawsuits. “You can sue the company but you can’t sue the harasser.”

Stocks, of Auburndale, a police officer employed by Florida Polytechnic for more than two years, was charged with sexual battery with threat or force, extortion or threats and domestic aggravated stalking, all of which are felonies.

Stocks resigned from his position when he was arrested, according to the sheriff’s office. He had previously retired from the Nashville (Tenn.) Metro Police Department, where he worked from 1994 until 2011.

In a statement to ABC Action News, Florida Polytechnic officials said: “We are aware that former Florida Polytechnic University police officer Winfred “Carl” Stocks, Jr. was arrested on several domestic charges. Stocks no longer works for the University Police as he resigned on Thursday, Jan. 10, effective immediately.

“Prior to being employed by Florida Poly, a complete background investigation was conducted by Lakeland Police Department as required by Florida Department of Law Enforcement. We fully support the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and their investigation.”

Powerful men continue to be accused of sexual harassment and assaults, and have been responding by accepting, hedging or dodging the allegations.

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