Clinton, MD — It is an unfortunate reality in the land of the free that police officers commit crimes against children. In case after case, the Free Thought Project has reported on countless officers who have been arrested for preying on society’s most vulnerable. While there is certainly no shortage of non-cops who abuse children, being a police officer gives many cops the ability to cover their crimes or puts them in positions of authority and trust that allow them to prey on children. All too often, even when they are caught, cops receive special treatment under the law and in their employment.
If your job is to arrest people for DUI and you get a DUI, you should be fired and stripped of your law enforcement license for betraying the trust of the community you serve. Yes, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but if your job is to enforce the law and you are recorded on another police officer’s dash camera, driving while intoxicated, you need to be fired.
But that did not happen when officer Tristan Thigpen got his DUI in 2018. Instead, he’s been on paid vacation ever since. And, while he was on paid vacation — for violating his oath and betraying the community — he has since allegedly raped a child.
While on paid vacation, Thigpen is accused of sexually abusing a “young child.” During a press conference this week, State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced multiple charges against Thigpen for the alleged repeated sex abuse of a child, who Thigpen knew.
The charges that Thigpen face include:
Sex abuse of a minor
Third-degree sex offense
Fourth-degree sex offense
According to prosecutors, the victim was a household member, meaning it could have even been his own child. While they haven’t provided specifics of how they learned of the abuse, officials noted they found out about it through “various law enforcement agencies.”
Braveboy encouraged anyone else who has been a victim of Thigpen to come forward.
Braveboy said that when a case like such involves an officer, “it’s particularly egregious.” We agree.
“Any case involving sex abuse of a minor is serious. When the allegations are made against an officer, it’s particularly egregious,” she said.
The interim police chief also weighed in but stopped short of apologizing for not firing Thigpen in the first place.
“The fact the allegations against this officer involve a child make them all the more troubling. The officer had already been on suspension when our department was made aware of this allegation,” Interim Police Chief Hector Velez said. “We immediately opened an investigation and brought this case to the State’s Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.”
Thigpen is still with the department, but has been suspended without pay this time.
If he is found guilty on the charges, Thigpen would face the possibility of up to 35 years behind bars.
Unfortunately, however, even if he is found guilty on all counts, child raping cops rarely do any significant time behind bars. Sadly, there is a pattern of police officers getting caught preying on children, raping women, and committing other unspeakable crimes—and never going to jail.
One of many examples is the case of California Highway Patrol lieutenant Stephen Robert Deck who was given probation for attempting to have sex with a 13-year-old. The officer was caught in an undercover sting operation set up by police to catch pedophiles in the act of trying to have sex with kids. Unlike most of the other 12 defendants in the case, who were sentenced to at least one year in prison, Deck was afforded probation last year simply because he wore a badge.
Although every other person caught in the same sting received jail time, Deck’s badge apparently granted him special privilege. What’s more, this child predator was allowed to keep his taxpayer-funded medical retirement. And we call this “justice” in the land of the free.