In the two years he worked as a Harris County deputy constable, Richard Cornejo was accused of raping two separate women while on duty.
Investigators believe there may be more.
The 37-year-old father of four was arrested Thursday after a grand jury indicted him a day earlier on two charges of sexual assault and one count of official oppression.
Cornejo would prey on women who were patrons of Palacios, an after-hours nightclub he was assigned to police as part of his regular shift, said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
“He was probably stopping people he thought were intoxicated and trying to take advantage of them,” Acevedo told the Houston Chronicle. “We really believe there’s other victims.”
In June 2018, Cornejo found a woman asleep in her car outside Palacios and found a marijuana joint in the car, which he used as an excuse to follow her home. Once in her home, he is accused of raping her.
The woman did not come forward until November 2018 and he was fired a few days later for “departmental violations.”
Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman released the following statement:
“Our office was contacted by the Houston Police Department on November 5, 2018, about a female victim that had made an outcry of a sexual assault, that had occurred in July 2018, by a deputy employed with our agency. Our Internal Affairs Division launched an investigation and identified the employee as Richard Cornejo.
Cornejo was immediately removed from patrol duties and placed on office duties during the Internal Affairs Investigation. During our internal investigation the employee Richard Cornejo admitted to having consensual sex with the female while on duty. Richard Cornejo was terminated from our office on
November 9, 2018 for department policy violations. Our office has, and will continue to work with the Houston Police Department on this matter.”
In May 2018, Cornejo is accused of pulling over another woman who he ordered to drive to another location which was where he allegedly raped her. He is being held on a $105,000 bond.