A Michigan sheriff’s deputy has been charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman he arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart on Christmas Eve.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy George Charles Zofchak, 40, was stripped of his badge and was charged on Friday with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and misconduct in office.
Zofchak and another deputy responded to a shoplifting report on the morning of Dec. 24 at a Walmart in Clio, roughly 13 miles north of Flint. The deputies arrested a male suspect and a female suspect.
Zofchak offered to stay behind with the female suspect and wait for their vehicle to be impounded while the other deputy transported the male suspect to jail, according to Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.
After the car was taken away, Zofchak allegedly drove the handcuffed woman to the motel where she had been staying. There, according to the sheriff, he removed her handcuffs and forced her to perform oral sex on him. After throwing her on a bed and groping her, Zofchak ordered the woman not to tell anyone about the assault, Pickell said.
The victim’s sister reported the alleged assault to police the next day.
Pickell said the report made him “sick to my stomach.”
“He betrayed his trust for a selfish purpose. That’s not be tolerated,” Pickell said. ″When he made the decision to take his prisoner back to the hotel, he betrayed the trust of everyone and that was the beginning of his end.”
Zofchak, an 11-year sheriff’s department veteran, was being held in Lapeer County Jail with a bond set at $600,000. The assault and kidnapping charges carry up to life in prison. The felony misconduct charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.
“Nobody is above the law and that especially includes sworn police officers,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in a statement. “The public expects and relies on law enforcement to protect us from the criminal element. When the roles are reversed, the public trust is broken.”