KUSA — The former Westminster police officer who was supposed to be driving a woman home from the hospital when he instead stopped and sexually assaulted her outside of his patrol car was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by four years probation on Thursday.
Broomfield police said they were called to St., Anthony Hospital to do a rape kit on a 36-year-old woman on Aug. 24, 2017, alleging she had been sexually assaulted the night before.
The woman told Broomfield police she had gone to the emergency room at the same hospital the night before after “self-admitting for alcoholism,” an affidavit about the 2017 incident stated. Hospital staff called the police to report the woman had stolen something from the ER and Curtis Lee Arganbright, 41, was dispatched.
The hospital decided not to press charges and Arganbright agreed to take the woman home. It was on the way to her house that she says the sexual assault took place.
The woman told Broomfield officers that Arganbright pulled over to the side of the road near 144th Avenue and Zuni Street, told her to get out of the vehicle, and forced her into intercourse on the front bumper of his police car while handcuffed. According to the affidavit, the officer then forced the woman into oral sex also while outside of the police car.
The woman told officers that when Arganbright dropped her off at her home a short time later he said, “that she better not tell anyone about this.” She said he was referring to the assault.
The affidavit also states that Arganbright then gave the woman his business card and said, “call him sometime.”
The Adams County District Attorney charged the former officer with two counts of felony sexual assault.
But Arganbright pleaded guilty to misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact and official misconduct in October.
“It’s the difference between night and day," said 9NEWS Legal Expert, Scott Robinson. "One is a felony with a mandatory 10-year prison term and sex offender status, and the other is a misdemeanor with much smaller sanctions.”
While Arganbright will have to register as a sex offender, he was sentenced to 90 days behind bars.
“Certainly 90 days is an inadequate sentence for rape," said Robinson. "But sometimes getting some sort of punishment is all the prosecutor can hope for. It all depends on the strength of the case.”
According to a press release from the Adams County DA's office, at the sentencing hearing on Thursday, November 29, the victim's mother told the judge that her daughter was brutally raped and suffers extreme PTSD because of Arganbright’s actions.
“Sometimes victims of sexual assault simply cannot testify," said Robinson. "Whether it’s because the trauma is too great or because they physically are incapable of doing it. It’s a tremendously traumatic event and so sometimes prosecutors have to keep that in mind as well."
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