Former Westminster cop sentenced to 6 years in prison for 2017 sex assault

Curtis Lee Arganbright.jpg
Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 19:35:52-05

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A former Westminster police officer who pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a 2017 sex assault case was sentenced Monday to six years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

In addition the federal prison sentence, Curtis Lee Arganbright, 43, will forfeit his law enforcement certification and be required to register as a sex offender.

Arganbright pleaded guilty in 2019 to one count of violating the civil rights of a woman whom he sexually assaulted. The federal charge was filed after Arganbright was sentenced to 90 days in county jail, after pleading guilty in state court.

Arganbright’s state sentence drew outrage when it was announced in 2018. He had originally been charged with sexually assaulting his 36-year-old victim but later pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor counts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in July of 219 the FBI was investigating Arganbright and that the FBI wanted to search evidence lockers at the Denver branch for items confiscated from Arganbright after the August 2017 assault.

Westminster Police Chief Tim Carlson issued a lengthy statement Tuesday about Arganbright’s crimes and sentence.

“It is only now that I can share my disgust and horror with our community at this criminal act committed by someone in my department. These same sentiments are shared by each and every member of the Westminster Police Department and all our city staff. Such action deserves the fullest and harshest penalty our criminal justice system can impose. There is no police officer, anywhere, who should expect anything less for such criminal activity,” he said, in part. Click here to read the full statement.

An affidavit obtained at the time of his arrest in 2017 stated Arganbright had agreed to give a 36-year-old woman a ride home from St. Anthony Hospital in Westminster. The affidavit for his arrest says the woman had checked herself into the hospital the night before for treatment related to alcoholism.

At some point on the way back to her home in Broomfield, however, he made advances toward her, then pulled off the road near W. 144th Ave. and Zuni Street and “forced the woman to engage in sex acts,” the district attorney’s office said.

Investigators found DNA evidence on the victim, the affidavit says, and on the side of Arganbright’s patrol vehicle.

He was suspended without pay during an investigation into the incident and resigned about two months after the allegations came to light. Two years later, he was charged in the U.S. District Court on federal civil rights violations.

The Denver Division of the FBI conducted the investigation, with substantial assistance from the Broomfield Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.