Former Fairmount Heights Police Officer Facing Federal Civil Rights Indictment for Allegedly Sexually Assaulting a Woman After a Traffic Stop

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Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging former Fairmount Heights Police officer, Martique Cabral Vanderpool, age 32, of Fairmount Heights, Maryland, for deprivation of civil rights under color of law, for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman he arrested after a traffic stop.  The indictment was returned on September 8, 2021. 

The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Malik Azziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

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According to the single-count indictment, on September 6, 2019, Vanderpool arrested a 19-year-old female after a traffic stop.  Vanderpool allegedly deprived the woman of the right to be free from unreasonable seizure by a person acting under color of law, which includes the right to be free from unwanted sexual assault by a police officer.

The indictment alleges that Vanderpool transported the victim to the Fairmount Heights police station, where he sexually assaulted her.  The indictment also alleges that the civil rights violation included: kidnapping; the use, attempted use, and threatened use of a firearm; and aggravated sexual abuse and attempted aggravated sexual abuse of the victim.

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If convicted, Vanderpool faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  Vanderpool will have an initial appearance scheduled in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt at a later date.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke commended the FBI and the Prince George’s Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner and Ms. Clarke thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dwight J. Draughon and Caitlin R. Cottingham and Trial Attorney Elizabeth Hutson of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, who are prosecuting the federal case.

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For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/civil-rights and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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