Ex-Owensboro police officer faces multiple charges

Published 5:25 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

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The Daviess County Grand Jury indicted a former Owensboro police officer on charges of sodomy, strangulation and sexual abuse stemming from a Kentucky State Police (KSP) investigation late last year.

Kentucky State Police troopers launched their  investigation after allegations of sexual misconduct were reported involving an on-duty Owensboro Police Officer, Aleph. G. Zavala, 35, of Owensboro.

The complaint began on Dec. 8, 2023, when Owensboro Police Department received a burglary alarm at U-Haul Storage in the 2800 block of W. Parrish Avenue in Owensboro. Officers discovered a homeless female residing in one of the storage units who had permission from the business owner.

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After the officers left the scene, the victim said Zavala returned, where it is alleged he sexually assaulted her.

According to the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, Zavala gave statements to KSP investigators that didn’t match with surveillance camera footage of the U-Haul facility. Records say he denied any sexual activity occurred to the KSP detective but told OPD’s Professional Standards Unit investigator there was a “consensual” sex act.

The newspaper reported Zavala gave contradicting statements during his interview with the OPD investigator. Meanwhile, the woman who reported the assault, said Zavala came up behind her, pushed her down, tried to remove her clothing, and choked her while forcing her to do a sex act, records say.

He was fired for giving false statements to the Professional Standards officer and to KSP, abuse of power, unbecoming conduct and breaking regulations.

Zavala was arrested and lodged in the Daviess County Detention Center in Owensboro, where he is being held on a $100,000 full cash bond. All three charges are felonies, with the sodomy count the most serious one, having a penalty of 10 to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 14 at Daviess Circuit Court.