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Former Milwaukee Police Officer Charged in Federal Court with Violating a Milwaukee Woman’s Civil Rights

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 20, 2011
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin (414) 297-1700

United States Attorney James L. Santelle for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced today that a federal grand jury for the Eastern District of Wisconsin indicted Ladmarald Cates (age 43), a former Milwaukee police officer, with violating a Milwaukee woman’s civil rights. The indictment contains two counts. Count one charges that Mr. Cates, while acting as a Milwaukee police officer, deprived a woman of her due process right to bodily integrity by sexually assaulting her in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242. Count two charges Mr. Cates with using and carrying a firearm in relation to and in furtherance of a crime of violence, the offense charged in count one, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A).

These charges are based on allegations that on July 16, 2010, Mr. Cates—while acting as a police officer, armed with his service firearm, and responding to a 911 call from a house in Milwaukee—sexually assaulted a woman who lived at that house. Mr. Cates is alleged to have forced the victim to commit sex acts while they were alone together in her residence.

Count one charges that Mr. Cates’ assault subjected the victim to bodily injury and aggravated sexual abuse. Under Section 242, if bodily injury was caused, Mr. Cates is subject to imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a maximum possible fine of not more than $250,000, or both, plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and not more than five years of supervised release. However, under Section 242, if aggravated sexual abuse was caused, while the other possible penalties stay the same, the maximum possible incarceration could be life imprisonment. If convicted of count two, Mr. Cates would be subject to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years, which would have to be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on count one.

Following an internal investigation, the Milwaukee Police Department fired Mr. Cates.

In announcing the indictment, United States Attorney James L. Santelle commented: “The United States Department of Justice has been and remains unconditionally committed to ensuring that the rights and privileges established by our Constitution are safeguarded for all of our people. Today’s charges reflect that strong law enforcement commitment—by addressing the violence allegedly visited upon one of our citizens legitimately seeking the assistance of the police and by signaling our pursuit of anyone, including police officers, who violate that public trust and the confidence that our community otherwise rightly has in our law enforcement representatives.”

The prosecution of this case is based upon the cooperation and support of the Milwaukee Police Department, which worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the investigation of it. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mel S. Johnson and Attorney Saeed Mody of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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