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STX COPS INDICTED FOR RAPE, OTHER OFFENSES

St. Croix police officers Ronald Pickard and Dean Bates have been indicted in connection with a series of federal and territorial offenses, including first-degree rape, witness-tampering and civil rights and firearms offenses.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that a federal jury had returned a 16-count indictment against the pair.
The rape Pickard and Bates are charged with allegedly occurred on May 10, 1999. The maximum sentence for a first-degree rape conviction is 10 to 30 years in prison.
The two are currently under house arrest pending a trial on the rape charge.
Bates and Pickard were also charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights for actions dating back to December 1996. The indictment alleges the pair used their position as police officers to intimidate, physically assault, harass and arrest persons without just cause.
The two are also accused of using unjustified force.
The indictment states Bates and Pickard deprived nine victims of their civil rights by assault and intimidation.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy to violate civil rights and deprivation of civil rights is 10 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Bates and Pickard are each charged with two counts of deprivation of civil rights, three counts of oppression and a federal witness-tampering offense.
Pickard has also been charged with two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence, the federal offense of threatening a witness and the territorial offense of telephone harassment and intimidation.
Bates is charged with one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence, which carries a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, to be served consecutively (rather than concurrently) with any other term imposed.
The maximum penalty for witness-tampering and threatening is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Intimidation carries a five-year term; oppression, one year and a $200 fine; and telephone harassment, one year and a $500 fine.

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