- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A veteran Northern California police officer is accused of raping a woman at a hotel after escorting her there while he was on duty, authorities said Tuesday.

Santa Clara County prosecutors on Monday charged San Jose police officer Geoffrey Graves, 38, with one count of forcible rape. The six-year veteran officer surrendered to police the same day, then posted $100,000 bail, Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega said Tuesday.

“This is an extremely serious allegation, and if proven true, the officer will be held accountable,” San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel said Tuesday in a written statement. “While this incident is very troubling and tugs at our integrity, it is an isolated incident and by no means a reflection of our officers who perform their duties with honor and professionalism on a daily basis.”

The San Jose police union didn’t know if Graves had a lawyer, and no phone listing for the officer was available.

The alleged incident occurred in September after Graves and three other San Jose officers responded to an early morning family disturbance involving a married couple, authorities said. The officers determined that both spouses had been drinking but that no crime had occurred, authorities said.

The alleged victim, who works as a hotel maid, told officers she wanted to spend the night at a hotel where she had previously worked.

Graves drove the woman to the hotel, where she went to her room alone and fell asleep, authorities said.

About 15 minutes later, the woman heard knocking and opened the door. It was Graves, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the officer took off parts of his uniform and removed the woman’s pants and sexually assaulted her, despite her resisting verbally and physically. He left 10 minutes later, prosecutors said.

The woman reported the incident in October, prompting a five-month internal investigation by San Jose police. Physical evidence corroborates the victim’s allegations, and she identified Graves as the attacker, Vega said.

“After a thorough look at the evidence, we came to the conclusion that a crime was committed and we can prove it,” said Vega, who declined to discuss the evidence.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen added that the defendant “will be held accountable for his unlawful actions.”

In a statement Tuesday, San Jose police union president Jim Unland said: “Our members are surprised by the revelations of this troubling event. It is a tough day for our department.”

Graves has been placed on paid administrative leave. He is due in court March 24.

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