A rookie Maryland cop who was fired and arrested earlier this month for allegedly raping a woman who was detained in a Kohl parking lot has been charged with a 50-count count that includes allegations of further predatory traffic stops, false arrests and sexual assaults totaling 50 points included five victims.
Steven Victor Abreu, who was fired from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office after less than a year’s employment, was indicted Monday by a grand jury that charged the 30-year-old ex-rep with a series of felony counts of five in months having committed various victims September and October 2022.
Abreu is accused of using his position as MP to sexually harass women in the service. The 50-count indictment includes nine counts of first-degree rape and fourteen counts of misconduct in office. It identifies five alleged victims, identified only by their initials JA, as well as victims TS, AW, SD and JJ
Abreu was arrested earlier this month and initially charged with allegedly raping JA, a 27-year-old woman, on October 26 in the parking lot of a Kohl’s department store.
MARYLAND COP ARRESTED FOR KOH’S PARTIAL GRAY IN HOLDER WHO ALLEGED MORE VICTIMS, HISTORY OF MISCONDUCT
In that incident, the deputy allegedly pulled up behind JA and a male friend and arrested them both. After letting the male friend go, Abreu is accused of telling the woman to write down her phone number and get out of the car.
The deputy continued to “frisk” her, grabbing her buttocks and breasts without consent and digitally penetrating her, the complaint said. When her friend called to check on her, the woman “afraid of what would happen if she tried to run away or try to fight him,” told the MP she had children at home who depended on her wait, the complaint says.
Over the next few days, Abreu allegedly called and sent the woman text messages of a sexual nature – which she deleted and blocked – before finally stopping her for a traffic stop on her way home from work.
He allegedly grabbed her face and chin and commented on how the bruising on her neck had subsided from the initial attack and warned her not to tell anyone about their encounter. Fearful that he might pursue her again, the woman said her fiancé drove her to and from work the next day. The fiancé noticed a Sheriff’s Department vehicle waiting outside the woman’s workplace as he began recording.
The woman, “visibly distressed,” came to the sheriff’s office to file a formal complaint and was interviewed on camera Oct. 30, prompting the investigation that led to Abreu’s arrest on initial charges of second-degree rape and sexual assault Fourth-degree felony, second-degree assault, false imprisonment, sexual contact while an individual is in law enforcement custody, and three counts of misconduct in office following an internal investigation.
Following the arrest, Fox News Digital exclusively reported that Abreu had about a half-dozen other alleged victims who came forward while the sheriff’s department continued its internal investigation.
A law enforcement source who spoke to Fox News Digital condemned the sheriff’s office for keeping Abreu with the force despite documented warning signs and prior disciplinary action.
Abreu improperly groped a woman during a grips class at the Training Academy, but he reportedly corrected his form after being instructed by protocol to use the backs of his hands. He passed a background check, completed 26 weeks of training at the academy and an additional 10 weeks of ride-sharing with a supervisor before beginning solo patrols on August 25. But in the weeks that followed, Abreu was snapped for days for turning off his camera while doing a traffic stop on a woman, with whom he then exchanged provocative text messages back and forth.
The deputy was also fined for letting a motel friend who allegedly had a reputation for being embedded in drugs drive his badged Sheriff’s Department vehicle across the parking lot.
The source claimed a captain issued a warning but was reluctant to fire Abreu over staff shortages in the department, commenting: “Because no one wants to be a cop anymore.”
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis initially announced Abreu’s firing and arrest, but claimed to local news outlets that there had been no warning signs regarding the rookie cop.
Fox News Digital therefore interviewed Lewis about the source’s claims that the sheriff failed in his duty to stop a predator. Lewis admitted that Abreu “didn’t wow anyone and we didn’t pick him the first time” when he was interviewed for the job, “but he came back.”
“He showed us that he really wanted to be an MP. He passed everything, but he didn’t excite us,” Lewis told Fox News Digital of Abreu. “But guess what he had that most suitors don’t have? He was a minority. And I’m always looking for more diversity within the grassroots in my office, because like any chief or sheriff, I’m under the gun for more diversity.”
The sheriff went on to discuss how the aftermath of the Defund policing movement has caused agencies to “bleed out” staff and lower their recruitment standards.
“I have always loved this job like no other. But right now, we, our base, are demoralized,” Lewis told Fox News Digital. “Because the Maryland legislature has practically put us out of a job, no one wants to join Maryland law enforcement anymore. Our ranks and files are shrinking across the country.”
“It’s very difficult to recruit quality candidates,” he added. “So what do we do about it? Hire people who didn’t impress us during the interview. But we still need warm patrols in these vacancies that we have in our agencies. And what does that necessarily mean? It lowers our standards. That’s how individuals get through the cracks.”
Weeks ago, Lewis told Fox News Digital he expects additional charges against Abreu.
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When contacted Wednesday about the 50-count indictment, Lewis wrote, “Our full investigative report has been submitted to the Wicomico County Attorney’s Office.”
“Consequently, on Monday, November 28, testimony leading to the indictment was presented before a Wicomico County grand jury,” he said. “This case is now in the hands of our local prosecutor. Any further comment on this case must now come from Ms. Attorney Jamie Dykes or a representative of her office.”