News Item: WESTERLY OFFICER ACCUSED OF SEX ASSAULT
(Category: Blue GANG News)
Posted by
Saturday 17 June 2006 - 15:22:14

WESTERLY - A Westerly police patrolman has been placed on administrative leave "as the result of a criminal allegation" related to an alleged sexual assault on a 17-year old girl in the parking lot of a beach bar.

Patrolman Don Thompson was placed on paid leave Thursday night by Police Chief Edward A. Mello.

Mello refused to discuss the allegations this morning, saying the incident is being investigated by Rhode Island State Police. However, The Sun has learned that Thompson is accused of sexually assaulting the 17-year-old girl Thursday night.

State Police Major Steven O'Donnell confirmed this morning that detectives "are working with" Westerly police on the investigation. It is unclear which Westerly police investigators are working with state police.

"We are investigating with (Westerly police) and we're waiting for all the facts," O'Donnell said. "We're taking the time to investigate, taking the time to look at all the facts (to) see if a crime was committed."

According to sources, an "officer appreciation" event open to police, firefighters and EMTs was held at Paddy's Thursday evening. Thompson attended the event, and police logs indicate that an investigation into the incident began at 10:25 p.m.

Sources, however, have said the alleged sexual assault occurred around an hour before. Sources also indicated that Thompson had been drinking at the event.

This is the second time Thompson has been suspended with pay pending criminal charges or a complaint.

Last summer, Thompson was charged with domestic breach of peace after his ex-fiancée alleged she was the victim of a domestic dispute. According to court records at the time, the then 37-year-old victim said that, during an argument, Thompson began name-calling, grabbed and squeezed her shoulder as her young daughter watched. The victim had originally reached out to Mello "in the past as well as that day seeking protection from Thompson, who allegedly grabbed, pushed and argued with her daily," according to a court affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Westerly police officials said they advised Thompson on June 1 to end contact with his ex-fiancée. But Thompson said he had been told by his administrators to "go home and work things out." Reports indicate that, later that night, the victim called police after Thompson allegedly attempted to enter her home and later grew "belligerent" after Waterford police pulled over his vehicle.

According to reports last year, Thompson also allegedly called the victim approximately 100 times a day, followed her to work and attempted to climb through the windows of her house at night after she had asked him to move out. And "(the woman) stated, that when she approached Mr. Thompson about his actions, he would give her the 'police rights,'" the affidavit read, "i.e. he would tell her to call the police and then state to her, 'You don't get it. I am the f------ police.'"

Thompson did not enter a plea in New London County court, with the charges to be dismissed after 13 months, according to his attorney at the time.

http://www.thewesterlysun.com/articles/2006/06/16/news/news2.txt


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