SAN JOSE, Calif. (BCN) - A terminated San Jose police officer admitted he lied to internal affairs investigators who were interviewing him as part of a criminal investigation, but didn't know it was for alleged rape.
Geoffrey Graves, 40, took the witness stand in the second week of his trial today at the Hall of Justice in San Jose before Superior Court Judge Ron Del Pozzo.
Graves is accused of raping a woman at a TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotel in San Jose after she left her Greendale Way apartment, where she had argued with her husband, during the early morning of Sept. 22, 2013.
Graves was an officer with the San Jose Police Department for seven years until he was fired in September, according to police.
The defendant said he believed the sex he had with the woman was consensual based on her tone, demeanor, actions she initiated and her invitation for him to go inside the room.
Graves said the woman was enjoying herself during the act and never asked him to leave the room.
In mid-October, weeks after the encounter, Graves said two officers from the criminal division of police internal affairs interviewed him.
While being cross-examined by Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega, Graves said he denied having sex with the woman for fear of losing his job and benefits.
Graves testified that the woman wanted to stay at the Marriott hotel on Saratoga Avenue where she used to work and he gave her a ride in his patrol car.
During the trip, Graves said she was flirting with him and they went inside the hotel lobby where she recognized the receptionist and was able to book a room.
Graves left the lobby before the transaction was finished, but returned after a brief conversation with another officer, who had followed them to the hotel.
Graves also told the investigators that the woman made up the rape allegations as revenge against the California Highway Patrol for arresting her on suspicion of DUI on Oct. 13, 2013.
Graves said he also lied about being in the woman's hotel room for five to 10 minutes to talk and told investigators she was yelling and unstable.
Graves had testified Monday that the woman gave him her phone number before he left the room, but falsely told investigators that he didn't receive the number.
Graves denied corroborating with the other officer to tell the internal affairs investigators that the woman was crazy.
Instead, Graves said he told the other officer to talk to internal affairs about how the woman was flirtatious.
Graves said he was aware he would be fired for having sex on the job and lying to internal affairs.
"I wish I told them the truth the first time," Graves said.
After the interview with the investigators, the defendant said he had called the other officer roughly four to five times but never reached him.
While being questioned by Attorney Kristin Carter of the Santa Clara County Alternate Defender Office, Graves said the internal affairs investigators had identified themselves as note takers.
Graves said the investigators told him he was being interviewed as part of a criminal investigation, but didn't immediately know he was being looked into for alleged rape.
Graves said he had lied to the investigators about using the bathroom in the lobby, which was an excuse to explain why he spent 30 to 45 minutes at the hotel.
San Jose police Sgt. Brian Matchett, one of the two internal affairs officers, testified that their initial investigation before speaking with Graves included statements from the woman and witnesses, dispatch information from what happened at the apartment and GPS records from the patrol car.
Carter asked why the internal affairs investigation didn't include speaking with the woman's husband, who was present at the apartment. Matchett said they were investigating an alleged sexual assault and didn't need to
talk to him.