A former police officer has been indicted after officials say he sexually assaulted at least eight men while they were handcuffed during traffic stops.
Marcellis Blackwell, 34, a former officer with the North County Police Cooperative, faces 21 felony counts, according to a Sept. 28 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Between Nov. 8, 2022 and June 5, 2023, Blackwell is accused of sexually assaulting eight men and kidnapping seven of them, according to an indictment.
Police say during traffic stops, while the men were detained and handcuffed, Blackwell fondled the men under their clothes, the indictment says.
Seven of the eight men told police Blackwell kidnapped them by restraining them and taking them to an isolated location, the indictment said. It also says he turned off his body-worn camera during the assaults.
In one case, Blackwell is accused of sodomizing one of the victims while he was handcuffed, the indictment said.
McClatchy News was unable to find an attorney listed for Blackwell.
After news broke of one victim’s allegations against Blackwell, seven others came forward, according to the release. Officials say they also found videos on Blackwell’s phone of other “as-yet unidentified victims.”
A motion was filed to have Blackwell held in jail until trial. The motion said he “victimized people he thought would be less likely to report his behavior,” according to the release.
“The conduct alleged in the indictment is unacceptable for anyone, but infinitely more so for a police officer and when it involves handcuffed, helpless victims,” U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming said in the release. “We still have not identified all of the men who appear in recordings on the defendant’s phone and I’d like to encourage any potential victims to contact the FBI in St. Louis or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
Blackwell faces 16 counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, namely the right to bodily integrity, and five counts of altering records in a federal investigation, the release said.