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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Providence police officer was convicted Thursday of raping a woman in a police substation while on duty three years ago.
A Providence Superior Court jury found Marcus Huffman, 39, guilty of first-degree sexual assault after deliberating for about a day. He was ordered held without bail after a prosecutor argued that he was a flight risk and a danger to the public. He faces a possible life sentence.
Huffman's lawyer said he was disappointed by the verdict and planned to appeal.
The woman, now 22, let out a loud sob as the verdict was announced while Huffman remained expressionless as he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.
The woman testified that Huffman raped her in the bathroom of a police substation in March 2007 after picking her up outside a Providence nightclub where she was turned away for being too drunk. She said she could not remember what happened inside the bathroom, but that she woke up later with her pants undone and her undergarments removed.
She then walked to her aunt's house and was taken to a hospital, where she says Huffman showed up to take her report.
Prosecutor Maureen Keough accused Huffman of taking advantage of an intoxicated and physically helpless woman.
But lawyer Robert Caron attacked the woman's credibility, suggesting she had a consensual sexual encounter with Huffman and then lied about being raped because she didn't want to tell her girlfriend the truth. The woman identified herself at trial as a lesbian and said she hadn't had consensual sex with a man since early in high school.
The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sex crimes.
Attorney General Patrick Lynch said outside court that Huffman had "grossly betrayed the trust that was put in him and the badge that he displayed." The woman's father said his daughter, who burst into tears repeatedly while testifying, is less trusting of police now and will continue to be haunted by the sexual assault.
Huffman, a patrolman, has been suspended without pay from the police department.
"The jury verdict today is an important step towards holding Officer Huffman fully accountable for his horrific actions," Providence Mayor David Cicilline said in a statement.
The woman said she was high on marijuana and had downed multiple drinks of vodka and rum before heading out to a nightclub on March 17, 2007. She was turned away for being too drunk, and testified that Huffman pulled up alongside her in a marked police car and offered her a ride home.
She said she got in the car because she felt she could trust an officer.
The trial began last month, just after several other Providence police officers were charged with other crimes.
One officer was indicted in February on charges that he assaulted a restrained man with a flashlight last fall, a beating recorded on surveillance video. And three others, including a narcotics detective and a former driver for Cicilline, were arrested last month in a State Police drug-dealing investigation that authorities say is continuing.