Photo: Dustin Paul Lee, APD officer charged with sexual assault of a child
By Kali Abbott
On September 8, a lieutenant of the Austin Police Department (APD), Dustin Paul Lee, 47, was booked into the Williamson County Jail on charges of sexual assault of a child, his own daughter. A relatively low bond of $150,000 has been set for the child molester and he continues to receive pay from the department after being placed on restricted duty.
Lee has a documented history of anti-woman behavior within the department. In May 2008, Lee was fired after he sexually harassed another officer, and the following year he was rehired after agreeing to accept a voluntary demotion to the rank of detective.
Lee then worked his way back up and was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant by April of 2017. Lee now heads APD’s Downtown Area Command and oversees the department’s crisis intervention team, despite his disciplinary history.
APD has a reputation for sexual and physical abuse. On August 24, 2018, the ex-girlfriend of former APD commander Jason Dusterhoft made an official complaint to APD after he choked and slapped her. In 2014, an open records request disclosed dashcam video of two police officers watching a woman walk past their vehicle as one says, “Go ahead and call the cops. They can’t un-rape you.” This only earned the officers a few days of suspension from Police Chief Art Acevedo, who said that the three-day and five-day suspensions were “fair and appropriate.”
Austin had one the highest number of rapes reported in Texas in 2017. While Texas law enforcement agencies reportedly responded to more than 600 adult sexual assault allegations that year, only one person was found guilty by a jury. APD has the habit of “clearing” rape cases while the rapists go unpunished by bourgeois courts.
At least 40% of families of police officers experience domestic violence, compared to 10% in the general population.
Lee’s victim, his own daughter, should be commended for her bravery in coming forward, which she did to protect her sister from future sexual abuse. It is already difficult enough for women to come forward against sexual predators when the bourgeois courts and police do nothing for them, much more so when their assailant is a police officer himself.
Even if APD and the bourgeois courts do punish Lee, it would only be to dress him up as an anomaly and disguise their own role in enforcing class society, the source of women’s oppression. Bourgeois justice holds nothing for working-class women, and so the people must have their own justice, popular justice, enforced through revolutionary violence. Popular Women’s Movement-Movimiento Femenino Popular (PWM-MFP), a revolutionary working women’s organization, is holding a protest this Saturday, September 14 at APD HQ at 6:30 pm, to unleash the fury of working-class women upon their class enemies.