Jury finds Yuma cop guilty of rape

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SAN DIEGO -- Jared Elkins, a former Yuma police officer accused of assaulting a female relative during a stay at her home in Kensington last year, has been found guilty on rape charges.

A jury determined Elkins was guilty of multiple crimes, including forcible rape, oral copulation by force and sexual penetration by force, but not guilty on other charges related to the intoxication of a victim.

Elkins, 34, faces 14 years behind bars when he is sentenced on March 8.

He was first accused of raping his then-wife's cousin inside her Kensington home in September 2017. Elkins admitted having an affair with her while on vacation in San Diego but denied forcing himself on her.

Defense attorneys argued the 23-year-old victim fabricated the story of sexual assault after changing her mind and feeling guilty about having an inappropriate relationship with Elkins.

Prosecutors say Elkins threatened the alleged victim to remain silent during the act, a charge he has denied.

"The fact that he was a law enforcement officer and carried a weapon was significant for the victim in this case because she believed that he would carry through with these threats and why she was so afraid of him," said Deputy District Attorney Lisa Fox. "And I think the jury found that the evidence did clearly support that she was afraid of him and that she was forced to do these crimes."

Elkins was a 7-year veteran of the Yuma Police Department before he eventually resigned.

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