Ex-Tucson cop facing sex assault charges

2013-09-25T18:00:00Z 2013-09-25T19:02:16Z Ex-Tucson cop facing sex assault chargesBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A former Tucson police patrol officer is facing sexual abuse and sexual assault charges, the department said Wednesday.

Benjamin Gaballa, who was hired in September 2012 and fired Aug. 22, faces two counts each of sexual abuse and sexual assault, said Sgt. Chris Widmer, a department spokesman.

Gaballa was taken into custody Wednesday at police headquarters and then booked into the Pima County jail, Widmer said.

The charges resulted after the department’s internal affairs office began a criminal and administrative investigation into allegations made by a woman who was recently booked into the Pima County jail, Widmer said.

The woman alleged Gaballa engaged in criminal misconduct, said Widmer. Jail personnel told police of the woman’s allegations, he said.

Gaballa was removed from duty in August and placed on leave, police said.

During the administrative investigation, police found that Gaballa, who was still in his probationary period as an officer, had falsified a police report, engaged in misrepresentation of facts to his supervisor and mishandled evidence, which led to his firing in August, police said.

Police did not release details of what the woman alleged happened.

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