Pasco County Deputy Carlos Xavier Lopez knew the house.
He and another deputy had responded to a call about a possible domestic incident there a few days earlier. Halloween evening, he returned for a followup — alone.
When he arrived, the on-duty, uniformed patrol deputy forced himself on a 44-year-old woman, reaching inside her jeans to touch her sexually, boasting that he wouldn’t be caught, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.
Pasco deputies arrested Lopez, 41, on Wednesday on charges of sexual battery by a law enforcement officer, a felony that could result in prison time. He also was fired.
“This person absolutely committed a crime, and I don’t care if he wears a uniform, it doesn’t matter that he wore a star — he’s a criminal,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a news conference Thursday. “To ensure that we have the public’s trust, we have to do the tough things. And sometimes the tough thing is to put handcuffs on somebody you used to work with.”