A former Phoenix, Arizona officer may be stripped of his certification and face a criminal charge after a woman said he used an on-duty courtesy ride as opportunity to sexually abuse her.
Officer Peter E. Boyle resigned from Phoenix shortly after the alleged January 2013 incident, and the City of Phoenix paid the accuser $100,000 to settle a civil claim in February.
Boyle has denied any sexual misconduct, but GPS data, witness statements from other officers and Boyle’s own inconsistencies raise questions about various portions of his account, according to a Buckeye police investigation and documents from the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.
Buckeye police have submitted a charge of sexual abuse to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office related to the case. Prosecutors are continuing to review the matter, according to a spokesman.
In the early morning hours of Jan. 26, 2013, Boyle responded a DUI-related car accident in which the driver was subsequently arrested, according to police reports.
The passenger of the vehicle, a woman in her 20s, was unable to secure a ride home and Boyle offered to give her a lift.
The woman would later tell investigators that Boyle was overtly flirtatious during the trip, telling her she was beautiful and inquiring about what “big favor” she would give to repay him for the ride.
Boyle stopped at a gas station somewhat out of the way of the woman’s west Valley home, he said, to allow the woman to buy a drink and cigarettes, according to reports. As Boyle drove the woman home, she said the two engaged in a conversation about whether it was illegal to bring a flask into a bar.
The woman said Boyle asked if she was currently carrying a flask and asked if he was going to have to frisk her. About one minute after the conversation, she said, Boyle pulled over to the shoulder of an unlit road and turned off his headlights.
The two exited the vehicle Boyle directed her to bend over, place her hands on the patrol car and to spread her legs, according to the woman. The woman obliged, and she said Boyle sexually abused her, turned her around, pulled down the top of her dress and molested her again, according a Buckeye police report.
The woman would later tell investigators she did not tell Boyle to stop because she was in shock and at a loss for words.
When he was finished, she said, the two reentered the vehicle and Boyle proceeded to drive her home. The woman said Boyle walked her to her front door and gave her a hug. The woman said she vomited when she went inside and had her boyfriend drive her to her parents’ house.
The woman reported the incident to Buckeye Police later that day, according to police records, and Buckeye investigators interviewed Boyle the following month. The Phoenix Police Professional Standards Bureau additionally conducted an administrative interview with Boyle regarding the allegations.
Boyle told investigators he never groped her, never conducted a pat-down or had any physical contact with her in a sexual nature, a Buckeye report states.
Boyle said it was the woman who initiated the hug when Boyle walked her to her door.
Investigators found discrepancies in the details of his statements, however, ranging from relatively innocuous to incriminating. It is because of these alleged lies that the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, or AZPOST, is reviewing the case. AZPOST has the power to revoke an officer’s certification to ever serve as a peace officer in the state.
According to the AZPOST allegations, Boyle lied about when the woman started sitting in the front seat of his patrol car — he claimed she was sitting in the front seat when they left the accident scene, but two other Phoenix officers at the scene reported the woman was in the backseat when they left.
Boyle denied stopping at a certain location near Jackrabbit Trail and West Indian School Road, but the GPS system in Boyle’s patrol care reportedly recorded a two-minute stop in that area, according to the report.
“When investigators presented this information to Officer Boyle he replied the GPS data was wrong,” according to AZPOST documents.
Boyle explained another one-minute stop as the victim looking for her debit card.
Boyle additionally denied conducting a pat-down, but in a different statement he explained that he frisked her because she had pepper spray on her.
Boyle resigned from his position May 16, 2013. His reason for resignation was not immediately available.
Buckeye police spokesman Sgt. Jason Weeks said detectives turned over the investigation to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in December, recommending a charge of sexual abuse.
Maricopa County Attorney spokesman Jerry Cobb said prosecutors are continuing to weigh the allegations and said the case remains under review. Cobb said there is no set timeline or deadline for charging decision.
The accuser and her attorney declined to comment for this article.