A Pueblo Police Department officer has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a domestic violence victim in a case he was investigating.
Officer Ben Candelaria was taken into custody on Friday and booked into the Pueblo county jail, police say. He has been placed on administrative leave.
Authorities say on Thursday, Candelaria responded to a report of a male/female disturbance. Officials arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of assault/domestic violence and violation of a protection order.
Candelaria finalized paperwork with the female victim to conclude the investigation, police say.
“During the day on (Thursday), the female responded to a local hospital for treatment for her assault and reported at that time that she was touched by a police officer but she had limited memory due to alcohol use prior to her assault,” Pueblo police said in a news release.
Pueblo police command staff were notified of the woman’s report and a criminal investigation into the allegations was launched in conjunction with prosecutors, leading to Candelaria’s arrest.
“It should be known the Pueblo Police Department holds its officers to a higher standard and accountable for their actions and has concern for victims of sexual assault,” the release said. “Reports of sexual assault are usually not reported, therefore we ask individuals to respect the privacy of the victim.”