Former Caldwell Police Sergeant Indicted on Civil Rights Violations Involving Sexual Abuse


Boise, Idaho — An indictment was revealed today in the District of Idaho, charging a former Caldwell Police Department sergeant with severe civil rights violations related to the sexual exploitation of women and offering preferential police treatment in exchange for sexual acts.

As per court records, 41-year-old Ryan A. Bendawald of Franklin, Tennessee, is accused of exploiting his position as a law enforcement officer to sexually victimize women in Caldwell. Allegedly, from at least 2017 to 2021, Bendawald engaged in illicit sexual conduct with a minimum of seven women he encountered while performing his law enforcement duties. Moreover, Bendawald is alleged to have proposed and exchanged favorable police treatment for sexual acts and favors.

Bendawald is facing charges including two felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, five felony counts of federal program bribery, and one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law. Should he be convicted on all charges, Bendawald could be sentenced to a maximum of life imprisonment.

The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Joshua D. Hurwit for the District of Idaho, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Special Agent in Charge Shohini S. Sinha of the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office.

The FBI Salt Lake City Field Office, Boise Resident Agency, is conducting the investigation. Trial Attorneys Jordan Dickson and Kathryn E. Fifield of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, along with Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine L. Horwitz for the District of Idaho, will be prosecuting the case.

Individuals with pertinent information are encouraged to contact the FBI Boise Field Office at (208) 344-4875.