According to Mercury News, a former city code-enforcement officer has been charged with a dozen felonies.
William Gerry, 45-years-old, abused his permitting authority to extort sex and money from massage business owners and offered protection from police raids. One victim reported that Gerry would inform her of when SJPD was doing conduct enforcement visits on massage businesses aiming to root out sex work.
Gerry worked with code enforcement from 2007 to 2019. Initial charges were reported last September, including seven counts of extortion, three counts of oral copulation, three counts of soliciting bribes, and one count of rape. Since then, additional charges have surfaced, including an additional charge of sexual battery and bribery. With a total of 16 felony charges, Gerry could face a sentence of more than 40 years.
One victim reported that Gerry extorted $34,000 from her business between January and April 2019. When he would come and collect payments, he would allegedly force her to perform oral sex. In their last interaction, she allegedly was forced into sex.
The investigation found another alleged sexual assault victim. Additionally, Gerry is accused of extorting payments or soliciting bribes from other business owners. Since August 2018, Gerry has extorted at least $63,000.
Gerry has surrendered to the San Jose Police Department but has not entered a plea.
Attorney Bobby Thompson is an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer and has represented many victims in civil lawsuits. In an interview, we asked Bobby to share insight on the legal rights of those who have been sexually assaulted and extorted by a police officer.
“Police officers are trusted to care and respect people they come into contact with and ensure people’s safety in their cities and states by preventing crime and enforcing laws. While most police are trustworthy and respectable people, there have also been many police officers reported for sexually assaulting people while abusing their power as an officer. The victims of these crimes should know their legal rights.”
“Reporting the sexual assault of a police officer is intimidating but will result in a criminal investigation. The investigation of a corrupt officer is an important part of the process. However, in some sexual assault cases, victims may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the officer and their employer. The employer of an abusive officer may be considered liable for negligence. For example, if previous complaints were filed against the officer, but the officer was permitted to continue working. Victims and their families should consult an experienced sexual assault lawyer to explore their rights and determine whether they have grounds for a civil lawsuit.”