Ohio state trooper coerced sex acts from female motorists in exchange for dropped charges

Ohio state trooper coerced sex acts from female motorists in exchange for dropped charges
A former Ohio state trooper accused of coercing female motorists into sexual acts in exchange for ignoring traffic violations pleaded guilty on Wednesday to violating the civil rights of four victims and to one count of cyberstalking.

Bryan Lee, 30, pleaded guilty in a federal court following an investigation of traffic stops in Fairfield and Licking counties from 2006 to October 2013, AP reported.

It was an incident in September of last year that sparked the investigation, according to court filings. Via a camera affixed to the dashboard of his cruiser, now-former Trooper Lee was caught by a Highway Patrol supervisor allegedly flirting with two female motorists before Lee turned off his microphone.

Lee admitted to investigators that he had allowed the driver, who appeared to be drunk, to leave without being charged while telling the passenger to come with him so he could give her a ride home. Lee then pulled into an alley, parked, and photographed himself fondling the woman’s bare breasts.

The Ohio Highway Patrol found evidence of similar activity in which Lee photographed sexual acts when women were under arrest or handcuffed.

In March 2012, Lee allegedly stopped a woman for speeding and took her to his cruiser. He asked her to take off her top, and she complied. Lee then used his phone to photograph himself touching her bare breast.

Lee then coerced the woman into driving to an abandoned gas station, where they had sex. In exchange, he dropped the speeding charges.

Lee resigned from his post in November 2013 before he was fired, according to Lt. Craig Cvetan, spokesman for the patrol.

“Public trust is one of our number one priorities, and individuals like this tend to compromise that trust,” Cvetan said, according to AP. “That’s exactly why we moved swiftly to have him removed from our organization and pursued the criminal charges against him.”

The charges against Lee were filed on Oct. 19. A request for comment from Lee’s attorney was not answered, AP reported.

It was a November 2010 incident that led to the cyberstalking charge. Lee stopped a woman for speeding and groped her upon arrest. He found pills and drug paraphernalia in her car, but dropped those charges. He still took her to jail for an outstanding warrant, citing her for speeding and driving with a suspended license.

Lee then tracked down the woman on Facebook, demanding she send him nude photos of herself.

Lee received average performance grades on evaluations in past years, AP reported.

“His interaction between his peers and the public is somewhat reserved but always polite,” a 2012 performance review said.