Ex-reserve officer charged in ’09 rape
REDONDO BEACH — A former Redondo Beach reserve police officer was formally charged New Year’s Day in a 17-month-old rape case.
John Haig Marshall, 55, had already been arrested for the September 2009 drugging, rape and shaving of a 29-year-old male acquaintance. The Daily Breeze reports that, at the time of the incident, the victim did not come forward to police to report the rape. However, a week later, when he sought a doctor’s care to ensure he hadn’t contracted a sexually transmitted disease, the alleged assault was reported to authorities.
The 29-year old man was an acquaintance of Marshall’s and went to his apartment on Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach to work on his computer, said Redondo Beach police Sgt. Phil Keenan. Allegedly, Marshall provided the man with alcohol, which the victim told police left him incapacitated but fully aware of what was happening. The 29-year old says Marshall then sexually assaulted him in the shower and shaved off his body hair, reports The Beach Reporter. He woke the next morning on the couch and left the apartment.
Marshall’s attorney, Jeffrey Gray, contends that Marshall did not commit a crime and had this to say to the Daily Breeze about the matter: “There are occasions when an individual engages in gay sexual behavior on an experimental basis and, after such events, many people feel very uncomfortable. Mr. Marshall has never violated anybody’s body. Mr. Marshall has never committed a sexual act against anybody that was not a willing participant.”
Police were not at liberty to say what had changed in the case or what evidence had been acquired in the 14 months since Marshall was first arrested for the crime.
“The D.A. wanted us to gather a little more evidence to substantiate the charges,” police Lt. Joe Hoffman said in a recent Daily Breeze article. “It took us a while, but through a lot of investigation we were able to obtain what the D.A. was looking for to file the case.”
According to the police department’s original press release in October 2009, Marshall, a reserve police officer for nearly a year in 1980 and 1981, had been under investigation before, prior to this incident. The press release says police had received information on several occasions over the past 10 years alleging that Marshall had “been involved in drugging and sexually abusing other male victims spanning across the last thirty years.” The Daily Breeze reports that in 2000, he was investigated after an allegation of drugging and having sex with an underage boy surfaced. No charges were filed in that case.
In the mid-2000s, police received anonymous tips that high school boys were obtaining drugs from Marshall. Marshall’s apartment was placed under surveillance but allegations were never corroborated.
No charges have been filed related to any previous allegations against Marshall and no one else has come forward as a result of the 2009 incident, despite police actively searching for other possible victims.
Marshall was booked at the Redondo Beach jail but was freed on $100,000 bail, according to the LA Times blog. Marshall is scheduled for arraignment at the Torrance courthouse on Jan. 26.