Police officer who had sex with rape victim in McDonald's toilet is jailed

'Such behaviour only damages the public's trust and confidence in the police and is completely unacceptable,' says Met 

Will Worley
Thursday 22 December 2016 14:37
PC Charlotte Peters was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court
PC Charlotte Peters was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court

A police officer who had sex with a rape victim she was supposed to be protecting in a McDonald’s toilet has been jailed for 22 months.

PC Charlotte Peters, 33, an officer in the Metropolitan Police’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, had sex with the young woman she had been assigned to care for a number of times.

Peters had previously pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office.

The victim, referred to only as ‘V’, said she got tired of being Peters' “dirty little secret," according to Kate Bex, prosecuting at Southwark Crown Court.

Peters was responsible for acting as a liaison between the victim and the police investigation and was trained to deal with the "emotional impact" on victims of sexual assault, Ms Bex said, and would have been expected to recognise victims' vulnerability.

But the sexual relationship started after Peters kissed the victim at a refuge she was staying in.

Ms Bex said the victim "flirted" with Peters and "made it clear to her that she found her attractive and therefore, in her own words, she encouraged it".

Soon after, consensual sexual intercourse took place at the victim's grandfather's house when Peters was on duty, Ms Bex said.

Another sexual encounter happened at the same place on 1 March, another in a hotel and later the same month the pair had sexual intercourse in the "lavatories at McDonald's," Ms Bex added.

The relationship was revealed when the victim told a member of staff at the refuge that she had broken up with Peters.

The court heard that the victim said she realised that Peters was never going to leave her girlfriend.

"And to use her own words, she was tired of being her dirty little secret," Ms Bex said.

At Peters' request, the victim deleted the app on her phone that hosted messages between the pair.

Peters threatened to kill herself, and the victim cut her wrists resulting in her having to go to hospital.

In an interview in November, the victim described having been "in love" with Peters.

MP speaks out in Parliament about being raped as a teenager

Asked if she thought Peters was taking advantage of her, Ms Bex told the court the victim said "no" and said the victim added: "It was just two people who fell for each other in bad circumstances."

Judge Anthony Leonard said to Peters: "You must have realised as soon as it started how inappropriate your relationship was."

Metropolitan Police Temporary Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Richard Martin, said: "The public and the Met expect police officers to behave with the utmost professionalism. It was PC Peters' job to protect those she was entrusted to help. She clearly abused her position by starting a relationship with the person she was there to support, when that person was at their most vulnerable.

"Such behaviour only damages the public's trust and confidence in the police and is completely unacceptable.

"I would like to thank the victim who come forward and supported this prosecution. It was immensely brave, and has ensured that PC Peters has been held to account for her actions."

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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