Detective fired over inappropriate messages to sexual assault victims

National / World

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WRAL) – North Carolina’s Fayetteville Police Department has fired a detective accused of sending inappropriate messages to women who had been raped, authorities said Thursday.

Paul G. Matrafailo III, who started working for the department 10 years ago and was part of the department’s Crisis Intervention Team, was dismissed by the Fayetteville Police Department in May, according to his dismissal letter.

Erin Scanlon agreed to be identified. She said her emotional wounds were reopened in April when Matrafailo, who investigated her rape case, started sending inappropriate messages over social media.

She still has those messages on her phone. Some of them reference lingerie she was planning to buy.

She said she feels violated twice, including by an officer who had access to intimate personal information after doing a complete download of her phone for the rape investigation.

“He saw the scene, the safe exam, the rape kit which has pictures of my entire body,” she says.

Deanne Gerdes, executive director of the Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County, said three rape victims informed her that Matrafailo, who was handling their cases, was sending inappropriate messages to them via text or social media.

“Imagine being raped and then having your rape detective hitting on you. It’s disgusting,” she said. “I asked one woman in what context she was getting the messages and what they were saying. She said they were sexual in nature.”

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