MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - After a boozy night on Beale Street, a Memphis Police officer is now at the center of a sexual assault investigation.
"That's scary, because the police are supposed to protect you," said Brittany, a 21-year-old visiting Memphis from out of town.
According to MPD, officers received a call around noon on Sunday. A woman reported she may have been a victim of a sexual assault. She told investigators that she was out on Beale Street early Sunday morning when she ran into a police officer who she described as an acquaintance. The woman told Police she then left alone to go home.
"The victim advised that she did recall texting and speaking with the suspect after leaving Beale, but she did not recall telling him where she lived," a Memphis Police spokeswoman wrote Monday afternoon. "The victim advised that she was intoxicated and did not remember everything, but she was able to recall that the suspect possibly sexually assaulted her."
"We see a number of these incidents that in fact are preventable," said Susanna Parkinson, who works with victims of sexual assault.
Parkinson estimates alcohol is a factor in 50 percent of the cases worked in the Mid-South.
"The fact is the number one drug used to facilitate sexual assaults is alcohol," she said. "Very often victims are sort of self drugging themselves and placing themselves at risk when they drink to excess for sexual violence."
According to police, the officer is assigned to the Downtown Station, Entertainment District Unit, the very officers that patrol Beale Street.
"The officer has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation," a spokeswoman said. "No charges have been filed at this point."