The FBI has launched a federal investigation into a former Westminster police officer who was sentenced to 90 days in jail after being convicted of unlawful sexual contact while on duty, a penalty that drew outrage.
A federal search warrant was filed by the FBI in June related to the case against the former officer, Curtis Lee Arganbright. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday that there is an ongoing investigation into Arganbright, but declined to comment further.
If a federal case is ultimately brought against Arganbright, 41, it could mean he faces years in federal prison.
Arganbright pleaded guilty in November to unlawful sexual contact and official misconduct related to his crimes against a 36-year-old woman he was giving a ride to her home from St. Anthony Hospital North in Westminster early in the morning of Aug. 24, 2017.
The woman had received treatment at the hospital for severe alcohol intoxication and chronic alcohol abuse. Arganbright was called to the hospital after the woman was caught stealing medical supplies. According to the federal warrant, the hospital said it would not pursue charges against the woman if the officer took her home.
Local prosecutors and court records say Arganbright pulled off the road during the short drive to the woman’s home, handcuffed her and forcibly had sex with her.
The federal search warrant says that Arganbright forcibly had vaginal and oral sex with the victim. The woman said she did not consent.
“He told (the) victim that she had better not tell anyone about the assault,” the warrant says.
Later that day, the woman went to a hospital emergency room and submitted to a sexual-assault examination, according to the warrant.
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A lawyer for Arganbright declined to comment on Monday afternoon when reached by phone.
It is rare for Colorado’s federal prosecutors to pursue a case against a police officer and the state’s U.S Attorney’s Office only takes on a limited number of criminal cases each year.
In the state case, Arganbright was also sentenced to four years of probation.
The Colorado Sun reached out to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case, on Monday for comment, but a representative did not respond to questions about the new investigation.
Investigators from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism were the first to uncover the federal search warrant.