A former Metro police officer who referred to himself as “the Hulk,” in secretly recorded audio with his alleged victim, has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
As part of the plea deal, a rape charge against Julian Pirtle was dropped.
A News 4 I-Team investigation revealed secretly recorded audio between Pirtle and the female Metro police officer he was accused of attacking and raping.
Following the plea deal, Pirtle was given three years probation and ordered to stay away from his victim.
The woman told the I-Team she is still processing the district attorney’s decision to give Pirtle the plea deal and will have more to say in the coming days.
Pirtle worked as a school resource officer, which is the same position his alleged victim also holds.
Affidavits charged Pirtle with choking and raping his ex-girlfriend, whom the I-Team is not identifying.
The Metro police investigation shows the female officer claimed Pirtle raped and choked her, but she did not immediately report it.
According to the investigative report, two days after the alleged crime, Pirtle showed up in her office at the school where she works. She followed him out into the parking lot to confront him while secretly recording the exchange.
The female officer gave the I-Team permission to broadcast the audio and reveal what was said.
"I was so [expletive] drunk,” Pirtle said in the recording.
"You were drunk?" the female officer said. “And the look in your eyes?"
“What did you see?" Pirtle asked.
"What did I see? It looked like you wanted to kill me. I have never felt that before,” she said.
She then said, "Did you know for two days that I could not swallow? For you to know what you were doing.”
"I didn't. I don't think you understand that there are moments of intense rage,” Pirtle said.
Later in the conversation, he said, “It's like – why do you think they call me the Hulk?”
"I don't know, but that doesn't give you the right to put your hands on me,” she said.
“They don't call me Bruce Banner for no reason. It's not an excuse,” Pirtle said.
When Pirtle appeared in court, he refused to answer questions from chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.
“I’ve listened to the audio – the recording of you – and you refer to yourself as the Hulk. You want to explain that?” Finley asked.
Pirtle did not respond to that question or about the charges of rape and aggravated assault.
But during the Metro police internal investigation, Pirtle said he was just talking dirty to the female officer in the parking lot, and that she was setting him up by recording the conversation.
Pirtle also denied attacking and raping the female officer.
The female police officer also told the I-Team she is upset that after Pirtle violated his order of protection by sending her a text message, his bond was dropped dramatically.
A bond sheet showed that after Pirtle’s attorneys spoke with Judge Rachel Bell and the district attorney’s office, his bond was lowered from $75,000 to $5,000, which meant he only had to pay $500.
Pirtle had no response when the I-Team asked about his lowered bond, and his attorney had no comment.
The I-Team repeatedly asked Judge Bell and the district attorney’s office for comment, but both said they could not because it is a pending case.
After Metro police fired Pirtle, they asked the POST commission to decertify him.
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