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Flint, MI– Two local law enforcement officers are facing charges of criminal sexual conduct– crimes punishable by up to life in prison.
On Feb. 16, warrants were issued for Caleb Tierney, 25, a current sworn officer of the Flint Police Department, and Cameron Zaylor, 24, a former Genesee County corrections officer, for criminal sexual conduct involving two victims.
At a press conference on Feb. 17, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the two men turned themselves in this morning.
Tierney is facing one charge of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
“The allegation is that he engaged in sexual penetration with a victim, and that he knew or had reason to know that the victim was physically helpless, while either being aided and abetted by one or more other persons,” Leyton said. “Or he caused physical injury to that victim, the person whom the defendant knew or had reason to know was physically helpless.”
Zaylor is facing two charges of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, for sexual penetration and digital penetration.
The victims were two women, 19 and 21 years old. According to Leyton, Tierney had known the first victim from his gym. He invited her to his house in Linden and said to bring a friend. Leyton said the women had been drinking, but was not sure if rape facilitation drugs were involved.
“We’re examining what we have for rape facilitation drugs. But as I’ve said, even if it comes back negative and even if it’s shown that these young ladies consumed too much alcohol, that still doesn’t give anybody a license to sexually assault them, and that’s still a crime,” Leyton said. “And it’s still the same crime if they had been totally sober.”
The morning after the incident, on Dec. 3, the women went to the hospital, the YWCA, and filed a complaint with the Linden Police Department.
Linden Police Chief Scott Sutter said that the Flint Police Department was made aware of the incident prior to Tierney’s arrest.
On Feb. 16, the Flint Police Department stated in a press release that the officer in their department was “immediately relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave without pay,” that morning after officials learned of the arrest warrant.
“We fully support the ongoing investigation being conducted by Linden Police Department and will assist in any way that we can aid,” the press release stated. “We will continue to hold our officers to the highest standards, and nothing less will be accepted in this agency.”
The department stated that they could not comment on any potential criminal allegations “until we are given all the facts at the conclusion of any possible court proceedings,” but that an internal investigation is being conducted.
Leyton said the women were “brave to come forward.”
“It takes a great amount of bravery for somebody to come forward and say, ‘I’ve been sexually assaulted.’ And they’ve already suffered the trauma and yet there’s going to be more trauma because just about every victim of crime, and especially victims of sexual assault, are going to be faced with a real tough situation when they come into the criminal justice system,” he said.
Assistant Prosecutor John Potbury said that the two men were arraigned this morning.