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Idaho State News

Former Police Sergeant Indicted for Sexually Abusing Women

BOISE – An indictment was unsealed today in the District of Idaho charging a former Caldwell Police Department sergeant with civil rights violations involving the sexual abuse of women and exchanging favorable police treatment for sexual acts.

According to court documents, Ryan A. Bendawald, 41, of Franklin, Tennessee, allegedly abused his position as a law enforcement officer by sexually victimizing women in Caldwell.  From at least 2017 until 2021, Bendawald allegedly engaged in unlawful sexual conduct with at least seven women he encountered in the course of his law enforcement duties.  Bendawald is also alleged to have exchanged and offered to exchange favorable police treatment for sex and sexual favors.

Bendawald is charged with two felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, five felony counts of federal program bribery, and one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law.  If convicted on all counts, Bendawald faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Joshua D. Hurwit for the District of Idaho, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Special Agent in Charge Shohini S. Sinha of the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Salt Lake City Field Office, Boise Resident Agency is investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Jordan Dickson and Kathryn E. Fifield of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine L. Horwitz for the District of Idaho are prosecuting the case.

Individuals may report any relevant information to the FBI Boise Field Office at (208) 344-4875.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.