A decorated Mount Rainier police officer who is charged with shooting a man police said he had tried to sexually assault was ordered held without bond by a Prince George’s County judge Wednesday.
Officer Gene Gillette, 27, was off-duty when he met the young man at a gas station July 2, prosecutors said in court. They said Gillette persuaded the 20-year-old man to go with him, saying he was making a pornographic movie and needed a male actor.
Later, at Gillette’s Capitol Heights home, where there were no women waiting, Gillette tried to touch the man’s genitals and demanded other sexual contact, Assistant State’s Attorney Donine Carrington said.
The man tried to flee in Gillette’s truck, she said, and Gillette opened fire.
Gillette’s defense attorney, William C. Brennan, did not detail his client’s version of events. But he said that whatever happened between the two men in the home was consensual and that Gillette fired his gun in self-defense.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Whalen granted prosecutors’ request that Gillette be held without bond.
Prosecutors argued that Gillette would be a flight risk and a potential threat to the 20-year-old and the community and that he lied to police who investigated, telling them that the man tried to carjack him.
Gillette did not outwardly react to the judge’s decision. He turned himself in Tuesday after he was indicted by a county grand jury on 12 counts, including attempted murder, attempted sex offense and false imprisonment.
About a dozen of Gillette’s supporters, including his parents and at least three fellow Mount Rainier officers, attended the hearing, which proceeded under heavy security.
Carrington, the prosecutor, said that Gillette encountered the man early the morning of July 2. The Washington Post does not generally identify victims of sexual assault.
At Gillette’s home, Carrington said, Gillette tried numerous times to touch the man’s genitals. The two men left the home and returned, and when the victim tried to leave, Gillette blocked his way and said he had to perform a sex act before he left, Carrington said.
The victim grabbed the keys to Gillette’s truck, left the home and tried to drive away, Carrington said. Gillette shot at the man while he was behind the wheel and after he crashed the truck, the prosecutor said.
The victim was shot multiple times, including once in the throat, Carrington said.
After the hearing, State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said the investigation is continuing and asked any other possible victims to come forward. “We welcome any information the public may have,” Alsobrooks said.
Gillette joined Mount Rainier’s police force in 2007, was Rookie of the Year and since then has twice been named Officer of the Year, Brennan said.
Gillette is suspended without pay, officials have said.
Read more stories from D.C., Maryland and Virginia on PostLocal.com.
Staff writer Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.