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Sep 25, 2013 8:19 PM by Brian White

Former TPD officer arrested on sexual assault charges

TUCSON - A rookie cop only on the force for a year was fired and now is charged with sexual assault.

Benjamin Gaballa was terminated Aug. 22 after an internal investagtion, Tucson Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Widmer said.

On Sept. 25, Gaballa was booked into the Pima County Jail and charged with 2 counts each of sexual abuse and sexual assault, Widmer said.

A female inmate at the jail accused Gaballa of inappropriate misconduct, Widmer said. An investigation was then opened with the Office of Internal Affairs.

Tucson Police were notified by Pima County Jail personnel of the allegations. During the course of the investigation, Gaballa was removed from duty and placed on imposed leave.

As a probationary employee, Gaballa was terminated on Aug. 22 as a result of the discoveries made in the internal investigation.

During the course of the administrative investigation, the investigators learned that Gaballa falsified an official police report, engaged in misrepresentation of facts to his supervisor, and mishandled evidence.

The criminal investigation into Gaballa's actions continues.

"The actions and behaviors exhibited by Mr. Gaballa are not reflective of the honorable men and women, who are devoted to the mission of serving and protecting the citizens of Tucson," Widmer said in a release.

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