Police Officer Accused of Rape: Jury Deliberates Verdict in Trust Betrayal Trial

Plymouth, Devon – A jury is currently deliberating in the trial of a police officer accused of raping a woman following an attempted burglary at her home. David Stansbury, 43, allegedly abused his position as a serving police officer to sexually assault the woman in Plymouth. Stansbury, who hails from Ilminster, Somerset, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape occurring between October 23 and November 30, 2009.

The trial, taking place at Bristol Crown Court, has heard that Stansbury, an officer with Devon and Cornwall Police at the time, had been called to the woman’s residence. He took her statement after a suspect tried to break into her home. According to the alleged victim, the assaults began within days of her initial 999 call when she was intoxicated and had drugs at her place.

She claimed that Stansbury, upon discovering the drugs, admonished her and asserted his authority as a law enforcement officer before raping her. The woman only disclosed the allegations while in the back of a police van after being arrested at a disturbance in 2020. She explained that her fear of losing her family due to her drug and alcohol use prevented her from reporting the incident earlier.

Stansbury, however, denied the allegations and stated that he does not recall the woman or the attempted break-in at her home. The prosecution barrister, Virginia Cornwall, accused him of having an “unusual interest” in the alleged victim. She argued that he accessed her personal records multiple times after the incident at her home, even after passing the case to another officer and going on vacation. GPS data presented in court indicated he had visited the complainant’s street on several occasions, diverging from his previous route.

In response, Stansbury claimed that he had been on the alleged victim’s street more frequently following the domestic incident to provide reassurance to her and the community through an increased police presence. He also defended accessing the woman’s information by stating it was necessary for his job at the time and that he was likely reviewing cases he had handled before going on leave. Furthermore, the court heard testimony from the alleged victim regarding a birthmark or tattoo on the inside of Stansbury’s leg, which he denied having.

Judge William Hart has sent the jury out to consider their verdicts in the case, and the trial continues.