LI cop accused of making woman touch him sexually

June 15, 2011 3:09:11 PM PDT
A Long Island cop is facing charges after prosecutors say he forced a woman to touch him sexually during a traffic stop.

Nassau County Officer Garrett Mannerz, 34, is charged with sexual abuse, coercion, bribe receiving and official misconduct in the incident, which allegedly happened on February 27 in Levittown.

According to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Mannerz stopped a vehicle that was travelling in the vicinity of Hempstead Turnpike and Newbridge Road in Levittown. Inside the car were three women in their early-20s. After performing field sobriety tests on the driver, Mannerz ordered one of the passengers out of the car, commented on her attire and asked for her telephone number.

Rice said Mannerz then told the woman to walk over to his patrol car, where he told her that if she "did something for him," then he would allow the driver to leave the location without receiving a summons or being charged criminally.

Mannerz then allegedly grabbed the woman's wrist and made her touch him sexually. He also arranged to call her to set up a date. Mannerz let the three women drive away. Within two hours, Mannerz began a series of sexually suggestive telephone calls to the passenger he had grabbed.

He was arrested after the victim recorded one of the phone calls and brought it to police.

"This is a shocking case of a policeman abusing his power," Rice said. "This defendant was supposed to serve and protect the people, but chose instead to disgrace himself and the honest, hard-working members of the Nassau County Police Department with his abhorrent behavior."

Mannerz, a 5 1/2 year veteran, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Mannerz's assignment with the precinct put him the position of being able to pull over motorists constantly. Anyone with a similar experience is encouraged to contact the DA's Public Corruption Bureau at (516) 571-2100.