Investigation Into Maryland Cop’s Alleged Sexual Offenses Continues as Multiple Victims Come ForwardNovember 10, 2022
Former deputy Steven Victor Abreu, age 30, was fired by Maryland Sheriff Mike Lewis and criminally charged following an October 30th complaint that he raped a woman held in custody in a Kohl’s parking lot. Abreu is also accused of harassing and stalking the victim in the days following the alleged rape. After an internal investigation, consultation with the Office of the State’s Attorney General for Wicomico County, and interviews with witnesses, Abreu was taken into custody and charged with several offenses.
The initial charges include second degree rape, second degree assault, false imprisonment, sexual contact while a person is in law enforcement custody, 3 counts of sexual misconduct in office, and a fourth degree sexual offense. The incidents leading to these charges range from Abreu allegedly making provocative remarks to women during traffic stops to alleged non-consensual sexual intercourse.
It is said to be likely that more charges will follow, as at least 6 more victims have come forward since Abreu’s arrest. Wicomico County Sheriff Lewis stands by his decision to handle the investigation in-house, stating that he originally thought it was a cut and dry case. Lewis continues to blame the alleged incidents on law enforcement being forced to lower their standards and their difficulty recruiting good quality candidates.
At least one law enforcement source, however, claims that Abreu should have been fired a month before the alleged Kohl’s parking lot rape. Sheriff Lewis knew that Abreu had purposely miscategorized his body camera footage of an inappropriate exchange with a women during a traffic stop as “training”, so that the footage would not be saved. Abreu was not fired for his misconduct at that time, only disciplined by losing 4 days of pay.
The source added that Abreu was also docked days for allowing a friend to drive his cruiser around the parking lot of a hotel known to be fraught with drug activity, complete with flashing lights and sirens. This was also about a month before his recent arrest. The law enforcement source alleged that a captain in the department maintained that they would not fire Abreu because of being short-staffed and their difficulty finding people who want to be cops.
The law enforcement source also argued that Abreu never should have graduated from the police academy in the first place. An instructor at the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy previously documented how Abreu groped her breasts during a training exercise. Before being hired as a deputy with Wicomico County, Abreu had applied to the Salisbury Police department where his application was terminated.
It is opined that Maryland police administrators were neglectful and derelict in their duties in allowing Abreu to continue interacting with the public as an officer of the law while having knowledge about prior incidents of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior.
If you have been a victim of a sexual crime at the hands of someone in authority, the dedicated attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.