GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. -- A Genesee County Sheriff's deputy is charged with sexually assaulting and kidnapping a woman who he arrested on suspicion of shoplifting at a Walmart in Vienna Township on Christmas Eve.
Deputy George Zofchak, 40, is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct first degree, one count of kidnapping and one count of misconduct in office related to the incident.
The assault and kidnapping charges carry up to life in prison. The third charge is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, the deputy arrested a man and his girlfriend was pulled from her vehicle and informed she also was being arrested for shoplifting at the store, located on Linden Road near M-57.
Zofchak told another deputy on scene to take the male suspect to jail while Zofchak stayed with the suspect's vehicle, awaiting impound.
He handcuffed the woman and placed her in his patrol car while waiting for the tow truck to take the vehicle to impound.
According to Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell, Zofchak then took the woman back to a motel where her and her male counterpart had been staying.
It was at that location where Zofchak sexually assaulted the woman.
"When Zofchak did that, he made a decision that he was going to betray the trust of this office and take advantage of her," said Pickell.
After the incident, Zofchak reportedly told the victim not to tell anyone of what happened.
The incident was reported to the sheriff's office the next day by the victim's sister.
A detective lieutenant was assigned to investigate, uncovering the events shared by Pickell.
"In the 20 years that I've been the sheriff, I think everyone has come to understand that no one is above the law," said Pickell, in reference to holding law enforcement officers accountable for criminal actions.
Zofchak was arraigned in 67th District Court Friday.