Former Jackson, Mississippi Police Officer Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting a Detainee

WASHINGTON – Maceo Simmons, a former officer with the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Miss., was sentenced to life imprisonment on Aug. 4, 2008, for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman he had detained after a traffic stop, the Justice Department announced today.

The sentence arises out of an incident that occurred on Sept. 19, 1999. The victim was a passenger in a car, which was pulled over by Jackson police officers for running a stop sign. Simmons handcuffed the victim and placed her in the back of his patrol car. He and another officer then drove her to a remote and isolated location, where Simmons repeatedly raped the victim while the second officer acted as a lookout. Simmons was originally sentenced to a term of 20 years imprisonment, but that sentence was reversed on appeal.

"The court’s sentence reflects the gravity of the defendant’s egregious conduct," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "Although nothing can erase the scars of a rape, hopefully, the court’s action will help the victim feel safer knowing that the perpetrator is behind bars for life."

The convictions resulted from an investigation by Special Agent Brendan Sheehan, formerly with the Jackson office of the FBI, Special Litigation Counsel Paige Fitzgerald and Trial Attorney Karima Maloney from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. See, USDOJ.