Former Chattanooga police officer Desmond Logan sentenced to 20 years for rapes

Desmond Logan

Desmond Ladon Logan, the former Chattanooga police officer who admitted to raping three women in his custody and using a Taser on a fourth woman, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, the maximum amount possible under his plea agreement.

Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, shackled and wearing a mask due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Logan stood before U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier and said, "I'd like to apologize for all the trouble it's caused ... I am not a bad person. I made mistakes. I never hurt anyone."

Defendants are allowed to address the court before they are sentenced if there is anything they wish the judge to consider when weighing punishment.

Although difficult to understand at times due to his mask and the low volume of his voice, Logan continued, "I've done things wrong - moral things wrong, [but] I never hurt anyone."

His victims, however, have a different perspective.

"I was barely afraid of anything before this happened to me, and now I am afraid to get out on the street by myself," wrote one woman, identified as D.H., who Logan assaulted in a parking lot near the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2016.

Victim impact statements by her and one other woman were attached to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors earlier this month.

D.H. stopped cooking for her family, she wrote. She's afraid to go on walks alone. She's afraid of law enforcement, a group she was raised to trust and respect, she said, and Logan took that trust away from her.

She sometimes falls into deep pits of depression, her statement says, and she can't always afford her medication, so she's had to go on Medicare.

Another victim, identified as N.S., has said she lives with guilt for not reporting him when she says he raped her in 2015.

Back in the courtroom on Wednesday, Logan's denial of causing anyone harm came after his attorney, Sam Byrd, asked Judge Collier to consider his client's acceptance of responsibility when deciding on a sentence.

Chattanooga police Chief David Roddy on Wednesday reiterated his characterization of Logan as "an absolute disgrace of a human being."

"To stand in front of a judge and say he never hurt anyone is despicable and reprehensible," he said in a statement to the Times Free Press. "Desmond Logan has hurt many his family, officers, friends outside the department, but none more than the women he's raped."

Logan has been investigated by the FBI and the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice since June 2018.

"The actions of Desmond Logan jeopardized public safety and violated the trust of the citizens of Chattanooga he swore to protect," J. Douglas Overbey, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said in a statement. "This case exhibits our continued efforts to prosecute those who would abuse their authority to commit acts of violence and injustice against members of our community. Our office will continue to stand by and protect the victims of such crimes."

Logan pleaded guilty to two counts of deprivation of civil rights for the rapes of two women as part of a plea agreement. He also admitted to two additional assaults as part of the agreement.

The agreement would, according to prosecutors, hold him publicly accountable for the assaults and spare the victims from having to endure a trial. In exchange, he faced no additional federal charges for the two assaults to which he admitted.

photo Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Attorney Sam Byrd and his client former Chattanooga police officer Desmond Logan walk across Georgia Avenue before entering the Joel W. Solomon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse Thursday, September 12, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Logan reached a plea agreement last week, in which he admitted to raping three women in his custody between 2015 and 2018 as well as shooting a Taser at a fourth woman.

A fifth woman - N.S., someone Logan personally knew - came forward after Logan pleaded guilty, alleging he raped her on his couch after her then-boyfriend left for work one morning following a night of socializing with Logan and his wife.

That woman has since become a police officer herself.

Her written testimony established that Logan's "predatory behavior was not confined to his actions as a police officer," prosecutors noted.

But her testimony was not considered during Logan's sentencing. That's because Logan's defense filed a last-minute motion Wednesday afternoon asking Judge Collier not to consider her statement because there wasn't enough time to properly investigate the claims, which would have included interviewing the woman.

The motion also asked for Collier to impose a lower sentence of no more than 13-and-a-half years.

Collier ultimately denied the request.

Addressing Logan, Collier said that the United States of America is also a victim in this case.

"It is all of your fellow citizens and on their behalf that the charges were brought," he said.

The state of Tennessee and city of Chattanooga cloaked Logan in the authority of the state to use force, detain and arrest citizens accused of crimes when he was given the badge of law enforcement, Collier said.

And when those charged with enforcing the law turn around and break the law, it "breeds disrespect of law and anarchy," he said.

Roddy has said that Logan's actions "tarnish the badge we all proudly wear and diminishes trust so many officers work hard to build every day."

Collier and Joe Carrico, special agent in charge of the FBI's Knoxville field office, echoed that sentiment.

"The entire law enforcement profession is tarnished when an officer betrays the oath to protect and serve," Carrico said in a statement.

And in addition to the victims themselves, "the crimes do great harm, not only to those who wear a badge [but] fellow citizens," Collier said.

With Logan's loved ones seated in the back of the courtroom, some crying, Collier sentenced Logan to 240 months - 20 years - in prison. He will have to register as a sex offender and will serve three years of probation upon release.

Logan was then led out of the courtroom by U.S. marshals.

Contact Rosana Hughes at or follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

photo Desmond Logan