Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a Kansas City police officer accused of forcing two women to have sex with him in exchange for not arresting them on prostitution charges.
Kansas City police arrested Jeffrey Holmes in 2012. A 13-year police veteran, Holmes is charged with two counts of acceding to corruption by a public servant, two counts of sexual assault and one count of deviate sexual assault. He is on unpaid suspension from the department.
According to court documents, two women working as prostitutes told authorities that Holmes, in March and April of 2012, had come to their hotel rooms wearing police-style uniforms and suggested he was going to arrest them on prostitution charges.
He then allegedly had sex with both, the women told investigators.
Jackson County prosecutors told jurors on Tuesday that they would would see forensic computer evidence that allegedly would show Holmes had viewed the online advertisement of one of the women. One of Holmes’ defense attorneys, meanwhile, told jurors that the two women, working with a third person, wanted “to set up” Holmes so they later could file a civil lawsuit against him.
One woman, who confirmed to Jackson County assistant prosecutor Trisha Lacey that she had advertised online under a stage name, said Holmes had come to her hotel room and told her that she was being “busted” for prostitution.
She said Holmes put his arm around her and said he didn’t have any money.
The implication was clear, the woman said, meaning “that he wanted sex without paying.”
Attorneys representing Holmes asked the woman why she apparently had not kept any physical evidence of her alleged encounter with Holmes, or whether she could produce any witnesses that could back up her version of events.
“Do you have any witnesses on the face of the planet?” asked lawyer Tom Bath.
The woman said she had been using methamphetamine several times a week in 2012 and that the drug could have hampered her recollection of events.
She also said she believed there would have been no point in calling the police after the alleged encounter with Holmes.
“I’m a prostitute, and he’s a police officer. Who’s going to believe who?” she asked.
The woman’s testimony halted for about 15 minutes after she became emotional, repeating “I’m done, I’m done.” After a brief recess, the judge told her she was was compelled to answer questions or face possible contempt charges.
The trial is expected to end later this week.