Officer charged with kidnapping, sexual assault

Sergeant Lester Rhodes (Durham Police Department)
April 11, 2011 9:57:02 AM PDT
Durham police arrested one of its own Friday afternoon on kidnapping and sex offense charges.

Officers arrested Sergeant Lester Rhodes after the Police Department's Professional Standards Division and Criminal Investigations Division investigated the complaint. The alleged incident occurred on April 3 while Rhodes was on duty.

The 42-year-old is charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual offense against a male. Friday afternoon Rhodes was transported to the Durham County Magistrate's Office for processing.

The circumstances surrounding the charges are unknown.

"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.

News of the allegations come after two other Durham police officers made headlines in recent months. One officer was allegedly driving under the influence and the other officer is accused of distributing crack cocaine.

Some Durham residents say they are shocked to learn about the latest allegations.

"It's kind of messed up," resident Eric Dawson said.

"People who are in control of the law should really stick up for the people," resident Tim Williford added.

But most feel the cases are the exception rather than the rule.

"I think in general cops do their jobs," resident Kristen Stinnett said. "I have some faith in the system but you're gonna have bad seeds."

Rhodes' bond was set at $1.25 million. On Monday, his bond was reduced to $400,000.

He has been told to remain in the state, but is currently at the Durham County Jail. His next court date is May 3.

Rhodes joined the Durham Police Department in February 1996 and is currently assigned to the Patrol Bureau. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

The Durham Police Department continues to investigate.

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