A campus police officer in Atlanta reportedly faces charges that include rape and kidnapping.
The suspect, who is employed by Georgia State University, was on a dinner date in Buford, Georgia, with a woman at the time of the alleged August 5 incident.
He supposedly later flashed his badge at the nearby hotel where the alleged crime took place.
According to Gwinnett County Police Department Sgt. Jennifer Richter, “When they were at the restaurant, she recalled drinking one alcoholic beverage and then had no more memories until waking up when the rape was taking place,” Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
The officer added, “He did use his badge to allay suspicion. The state that the victim was in when they arrived at the location was a little bit concerning but he showed his badge to the clerk there.”
The following day, the victim, who allegedly had made the acquaintance of the suspect several months ago, reported the assault at a local hospital.
Authorities have implied that a date rape drug may or may not have been involved; a toxicology report is pending, however. Detectives are also reviewing surveillance video at the restaurant and are asking anyone who might have information about the incident to contact them.
The suspect, identified by the media as Terry Payne, 59, turned himself in at the Gwinnett County Detention Center after learning of the charges against him, which also reportedly include false imprisonment and violation of oath of office, the latter apparently relating to showing the badge.
The university has put Payne, who reportedly holds the rank of lieutenant, on an unpaid suspension while the investigation is pending.
As a general recommendation, Sgt. Richter told the news outlet, “Always keep an eye on drinks when you’re in a social setting. If you set a drink down and walk away, don’t come back to it; just get a fresh one. Don’t take a drink from someone at a location that you didn’t see prepared.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the alleged victim is not a GSU student.
“Payne has been employed with Georgia State police since 2016 and has worked as a police officer in Georgia since 2001, according to records from the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council,” the news outlet added.
Watch a report aired by CBS46 Atlanta:
Based in Atlanta, GSU is a public research university affiliated with the University System of Georgia. GUS has a a student population that totals about 50,000. It is the largest university by enrollment in Georgia.
All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.
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