Ex-Officer Acquitted of Rape, Convicted of Misconduct in Office

By Alan Burdziak – The News Herald

DETROIT — After deliberating for about 90 minutes, a jury of seven women and five men acquitted a former Southgate police officer of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, but found him guilty of misconduct in office, a felony.

He also was found not guilty of neglect of duty. Testimony was heard in a weeklong trial before Wayne County Circuit Judge Annette Berry.

Emmanuel Paravas, 44, faces up to five years in prison for misconduct in office. He was remanded to Wayne County Jail after the verdict was read, and will be sentenced June 4.

He was charged last year after an exotic dancer from Pennsylvania accused him of raping her at about 3 a.m. Feb. 9, 2011, at Holiday Inn Southgate, 17201 North Line Road.

Paravas responded to a domestic dispute between the woman and her husband at La Quinta Inn, 12888 Reeck Road, at about 1 a.m. She was distraught and said he husband had assaulted her. They had been arguing since they checked in the previous afternoon.

The News-Herald does not name victims or alleged victims of sexual assaults.

Defense attorney Michael Rataj called into question the woman’s credibility.

"Her credibility is an issue just like the credibility of Mr. Paravas, so it’s important that you look at what she did, how she behaved and said or didn’t say in this trial," Rataj said in his closing argument.

He said she lied to her husband throughout the night about her whereabouts and had no qualms about accusing him of a crime.

Paravas led the investigation into the alleged assault. No one was arrested and the couple was separated. She was taken to Holiday Inn.

Throughout the trial, Qiana Lillard, a Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney, said the woman should have been arrested because several Southgate police officers testified that she was the aggressor in the altercation with her husband. Had she been arrested, Lillard said, the sexual encounter wouldn’t have happened.

Once separated, Paravas checked her in to Holiday Inn and walked her to her room because she was visibly drunk. She testified that she blacked out earlier in the night and didn’t remember anything between the time she was at a bar in Taylor and when Paravas checked her in.

According to testimony, the first time he was in her room, Paravas told her to take a shower and relax, and she would see her husband in the morning. He returned to her hotel room twice. The first time, he told the court, was to get more information from her such as her address and how to spell her name.

The next time, according to the woman, Paravas came in, said, "Wise up or you’re going to jail," handcuffed her and had sex with her against her will.

The jury did not see it that way, clearing Paravas of that charge.

During his testimony, Paravas said the woman seduced him. He said he immediately regretted his actions and knew that he had ruined his career.

He resigned from the Southgate Police Department on March 10, 2011.