Jury finds former Orlando police officer not guilty of sexual battery
Updated On: Sep 25 2013 11:36:21 PM EDT
The former Orlando police officer who was accused of raping a woman was found not guilty on sexual battery charges on Wednesday.
Roderick Johnson was arrested in December 2012 after a woman came forward, saying he forced her have sex with him, while he was on duty and she was under arrest.
The six-person jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding Johnson not guilty of two counts of sexual battery.
Johnson's attorney patted him on the back as the jury read its verdict. The 20-year OPD veteran could have faced up to 30 years in prison. As Johnson left the courthouse, he said "God Bless You."
The state played an audio interview with Johnson on Wednesday in which he originally told detectives he left the woman handcuffed in his patrol car while he ran inside a police substation to do paperwork. But Johnson later changed his story, saying he brought the suspected car thief inside to use the restroom. The woman claims Johnson coerced her into having sex on a desk in the substation.
The state says the woman felt pressured to have sex with Johnson because she felt that she would face greater charges if she didn't comply.
The defense said the woman, who is a 23-year-old convicted prostitute, had a motive and wanted to get money. The defense said the woman waited five days to tell anyone about the sexual encounter and that the woman made up the story to get her charges dropped to sue OPD.
Johnson retired from OPD shortly after his arrest, but an OPD internal affairs investigation later determined he would have been fired for lying and sexually battering the woman.
Johnson has made headlines before when was suspended in 2009 for slapping a teenager and just before the recent ordeal, he got in trouble for losing a laptop. Last fall, a Local 6 investigation caught Johnson speeding in his patrol car going more than 90 mph.
Watch Local 6 for more on this story.