Crime

What's Worse Than Getting Pulled Over by a Cop? Getting Groped by Him, Too.

John Reinhart's photo during his time as a Commerce City police officer.
John Reinhart's photo during his time as a Commerce City police officer. Commerce City Police Department
Former Commerce City police officer John Reinhart, who was accused last year of being a serial groper, has been found guilty in two of the three charges against him. And he's hardly the first Denver-area cop to be accused of sexual impropriety.

As we noted in our previous coverage of Reinhart, published in March 2016, sex-crime charges against police officers are rare, but not unknown.

In 2010, for instance, Denver Police Department officer Hector Paez was accused of forcing a woman to perform a sex act to avoid going to jail.

And in 2014, DPD Detective Michael Ryan was cited for receiving oral sex from a known prostitute in a parked car.

Reinhart, 22 at the time of his arrest, was hired by the CCPD in August 2014. Just over a year later, he began racking up allegations of making advances toward women pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence — and also fondling them.

A Facebook photo of John Reinhart.
Facebook
He was eventually charged with misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact in three incidents. The first took place in September 2015 and involved a 22-year-old woman. The second happened on December 6 of that year, with the victim identified as being 34 years of age. The third occurred on December 26 and dealt with a 36-year-old woman.

This week, according to the 17th Judicial District DA's office, an Adams County jury acquitted Reinhart in the September 2015 matter but from him guilty of the two offenses in December.

Unlawful sexual contact in Colorado is a Class 1 misdemeanor that calls for a minimum sentence of six months in jail, a $500 fine or both, and a maximum of 24 months in jail, a $5,000 fine or both. Reinhart will find out his punishment at a hearing on January 3, 2018.

In the meantime, no other women in Commerce City need fear that Officer Reinhart will pull them over and do something similar as part of his official duties. He resigned from the department in March 2016, after the charges arose.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts