DURHAM — A Durham police officer was arrested Friday afternoon on kidnapping and sexual assault charges. The alleged incident occurred on April 3 while the officer was on duty.
Sgt. Lester Rhodes is charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual offense and has been transported to the Durham County Magistrates Office for processing.
This is an ongoing investigation and we are not releasing further details at this time to avoid compromising the investigation, Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr. said in a prepared statement.
Police began investigating after receiving a complaint.
"We'll see how the investigation shakes out," said City Manager Tom Bonfield.
Bonfield said the allegations taint a police department that has many dedicated and hard-working officers and employees.
"When a situation like like this happens, unfortunately it becomes a negative spillover on everybody," he said.
Rhodes, 42, joined the Durham force in February 1996 and is currently assigned to the Patrol Bureau. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
He is the third Durham officer charged with breaking the law in recent months. In early December, Officer Kevin A. Stewart was charged with driving while impaired while he was on duty. Stewart was fired shortly thereafter. A few days later, Officer L.A. Harvey was charged with running a red light after he collided with another vehicle while answering a call.