Two women who were repeatedly sexually assaulted by a retired Kansas City detective aren’t able to pursue legal claims against him, as the state’s statute of limitations on sexual assault—10 years after the assault—has expired. Now, in a horrifying feature published by the Kansas City Star, the women are telling their respective stories about Roger Golubski. Naturally, Golubski has quite the record of criminal allegations—particularly as they pertain to Black women and poor and working-class people.
The women’s stories were first made public via a lawsuit filed by Lamonte McIntyre, who alleged Golubski framed him in a 1994 double murder case. McIntyre has since been exonerated. In court records, his attorneys claimed that throughout Golubski’s career, the detective had “victimized, assaulted, harassed” or intended to harm more than 70 women in Kansas City. Golubski, they alleged, used his badge to victimize “countless” vulnerable women—a number of them homeless, addicted to drugs or sex workers—often exploiting them for sex or to act as “informants” in cases he was working on. Most women named in the suit used only their initials.
One of the women who went public in the story, Ophelia Williams, told The Star that she first met the detective when her twin 14-year-old sons were arrested in the early hours of August 1999. As officers searched her home and apprehended the boys, Williams stood in her living room and asked Golubski to explain. She testified in a deposition for a related case that he told her she had nice legs and that her young daughter, asleep in a nearby bedroom, would “grow up to be pretty like her.” Williams also testified that Golubski returned to her home days later and told her he could help her sons, who were in custody for double homicide. After advancing on Williams, Golubski pushed her onto the couch and sexually assaulted her. She testified that the assault was the first of many that would span more than a year, throughout her sons’ cases, and take place while he was on duty and in his squad car. When a lawyer asked Williams if she ever called the police, she replied: “He was the police.”
The other woman who sought to pursue legal claims against Golubski, identified only by her initials, S.K., was just 13 years old when she first met the detective. She testified in 2020 that he called her in 1997 to inform her that she was a witness in a criminal trial. He then asked to meet the middle school student outside of a Walmart where he questioned her in his car. Notably, during his line of questioning, Golubski asked S.K who she cherished most in her life, to which she replied her grandmother. She also told the detective she’d been sexually abused in foster homes.
Golubski proceeded to put his hand on the girl’s leg and threatened that if she ever spoke to anyone about him, she’d never see her grandmother again. S.K. testified under oath that he assaulted her with his fingers and would continue to assault her until she was 18 years old. One rape resulted in a pregnancy that would ultimately be a miscarriage. Another instance of abuse saw Golubski putting a dog collar on the girl and walking next to her as she crawled. If she didn’t comply with the abuse, he threatened death.
In a statement given by Tina Peterson in the McIntyre suit, Peterson, an employee at a Kansas City shelter for battered women, recalled meeting “numerous” victims of Golubski, remembering specifically how women “cried” and “shook” as they talked about the “dirty cop” who “dumped” some of them back on the street, “still undressed, when he was done with them.” Peterson also said that she made several attempts to alert the department to no avail. Such misdeeds have been said to be an open secret since at least 2016 when McIntyre’s legal team began attempts to free him. Startlingly, McIntyre’s own mother, Rose, alleged Golubski had assaulted her in his office. After she rebuffed his advances, she began to suspect her rejection proved reason enough for him to frame her son.
In late 2021, CNN reported that federal prosecutors had launched a criminal grand jury investigation into Golubski’s record which is reportedly ongoing. The Kansas City, Kansas police department has also admitted that since 2019, it had been responding to subpoenas about the former detective from the FBI. Today, he has yet to face any charges. When questioned about the number of allegations waged against him during the McIntyre proceedings in 2020, Golubski reportedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent 555 times.
Police corruption—and complete ineptitude—when it concerns cases of sexual violence has a storied history, with studies finding an officer is accused of sexual misconduct—one of the most common complaint against law enforcement—at least once every five days in the United States. Yet new examples like the aforementioned, and a recent Washington Post report wherein a sexual assault survivor who’d been accused by officers of lying about assault discovered that evidence in her assault had been disposed of, provide further confirmation that law enforcement has long been a system designed only to protect itself.