An 18-year veteran of the Anne Arundel County Police Department was charged Friday with raping a 24-year-old woman in his patrol car.
Officer Michael D. Ziegler, 38, of Glen Burnie, was charged with second-degree rape after he turned himself in Friday afternoon at the Eastern District Station, police said.
The charges stem from a Nov. 15 incident in which a Crofton woman told police she was stopped by a uniformed police officer and raped in the front seat of his marked patrol car.
The rape charges were brought after an investigation by the department's sexual offense division and a legal review by the Anne Arundel State's Attorney's Office, said a police spokesman, Sgt. Joseph Bisesi.
The woman told police that the officer stopped her while she was driving her truck in the early morning of Nov. 15 in the northern Anne Arundel community of Pasadena.
Bisesi said it is not known why the officer pulled the truck over, but said it may have been that he suspected the woman was driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Police said Ziegler ordered the woman to get into his car and said he would drive her home, but instead drove to the parking lot of Seton Parish Church in Crofton, where the alleged assault occurred.
Police said Ziegler drove the woman home about 2:45 a.m., whereupon she called 911.
Ziegler was released on his own recognizance, after being arraigned in District Court.
Ziegler has been suspended with pay since the incident. Ziegler is scheduled for a personnel hearing, which could result in suspension without pay, Bisesi said.
The case marks the second time this fall that a county police officer has been accused of sexual misconduct. Bisesi said a 20-year veteran of the force was forced to take early retirement after a woman alleged that he exposed himself to her.
In August, a Maryland State Police trooper, who worked out of the Waldorf Barracks and lived in Anne Arundel, was charged with raping an 18-year-old woman he had stopped for speeding. Pfc. Carlton E. DeLeaver, 23, was charged with first-degree rape in the incident. The woman told police that she had been stopped for speeding on Route 301 when the incident occurred.