A London police officer who “took monstrous advantage of women” hiding behind the badge has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting a dozen women over nearly two decades.
Former Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick, 48, admitted last month he was a serial rapist in what prosecutors described as one of the most shocking cases involving a serving police officer.
Carrick pleaded guilty to 49 offenses, including 24 counts of rape and charges that included assault, attempted rape and false imprisonment in connection to the attacks that took place over a 17-year period. The officer, who joined the force in 2001, previously served with the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command.
On Tuesday, Justice Bobbie Cheema-Grubb sentenced Carrick to life imprisonment and ordered him to serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars.
During the sentencing hearing, Cheema-Grubb said the former officer “took monstrous advantage of women” behind a public appearance of propriety and trustworthiness.
“You brazenly raped and sexually assaulted a number of women, some very brutally, and you behaved as if you were untouchable. You were bold and at times relentless, trusting that no victim would overcome her shame and fear to report you," the judge told Carrick.
Last month, London's police force publicly apologized to victims after information about the rapes emerged.
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley apologized again on Tuesday.
"David Carrick’s crimes were unspeakably evil. He exploited his position as a police officer in the most disgusting way," Rowley said in a statement. "I want to again reiterate my apology on behalf of the Met. We are truly sorry."
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Carrick's case was the latest in a string of scandals to undermine public trust in the Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in Britain. Authorities have put heavy pressure on the police to reform its culture and standards after a series of allegations of misogyny and racism within its ranks.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a British lawyer and politician, called Carrick’s crimes “a scar on our police.” An inquiry is ongoing into his behavior and decision-making processes around his vetting, Braverman said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: London police officer, serial rapist David Carrick sentenced to life