by CBS Austin
An Austin Police commander who faced accusations of assaulting a woman he was in a relationship with earlier this year has now been suspended indefinitely over choking her during sex, according to a disciplinary memo.
Austin Police Commander Jason Dusterhoft was accused of grabbing the woman’s face during an argument, causing her pain, but the Travis County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute.
The disciplinary memo said evidence could not support that claim — but there was evidence that the woman was strangled multiple times when they had sex.
The two had met on the app Tinder back in July. And the woman said they were in a dating relationship. She became scared at the increasing intensity of Dusterhoft’s physical aggressiveness during sex. She told investigators that he pulled clumps of her hair out and he enjoyed hearing her scream in pain, the memo said.
She made outcries to several friends and took pictures of bruising, saying, “I took pics in case I ended up dead, I was truly scared about that. I just wanted to make sure people know I didn’t kill myself.” Text messages and videos were discovered on Dusterhoft’s phone that corroborated her claims, according to the memo.
When speaking to investigators Dusterhoft admitted to placing his hands around her neck during sex and squeezing, but said he was ‘choking’ her not strangling her. He tried to explain himself by saying “that when you are performing a sexual act by putting your hands around someone’s neck, it is choking, but when you are trying to kill somebody, it is strangling. And he did not want to hurt her.” He also said he was intoxicated during these encounters.
The memo said Dusterhoft is wrong from both a medical and legal standpoint on the choking. The blocking of the airway that supplies oxygen to the brain is all that is required to kill a person. If a person loses consciousness because the brain has been starved of oxygen there can be permanent brain damage. And death from strangulation can occur in as little as two minutes.
The memo said at a minimum Dusterhoft engaged in reckless conduct when he repeatedly strangled the woman to the point that it was his intent and desire that she became unconscious.
The internal affairs investigation also found that Dusterhoft met the woman and her friend, who he knew to be a prostitute and drug user for sex on the prostitute’s birthday.
The indefinite suspension also says Dusterhoft violated the department’s honesty policy — and that he deleted videos and texts from his phone about the victim after learning of a search warrant for his house.
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