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Crime News Breaking News

Former Police Officer In Kansas Arrested For 2017 Rape And 24 Other Charges

The Lawrence Police chief said he is "appalled" by the alleged conduct of former officer Jonathan Gardner.

By Chambolion Fairley
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The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) has arrested a former officer of the Lawrence Police Department for sexually assaulting a woman while on duty.

The crime is suspected to have happened in January of 2017, according to the KBI press release.

In November 2021, the Lawrence Police Department requested the assistance of KBI to investigate Jonathan M. Gardner, 41. Fox 4 News reports that Gardner was terminated from his job after the Bureau's investigation.

Gardner was arrested on March 4 and is facing one count of rape, 12 counts of unlawful computer acts, and 12 counts of official misconduct.

The bureau said in its release that the other charges Garner faces are related to "illegal and unauthorized searches of the Kansas Criminal Justice Information System, as well as internal police department public safety systems between 2017 and 2020."

The criminal complaint filed by Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez and obtained by Law&Crime claims that Gardner engaged in sexual intercourse with a 20-year-old woman who was incapable of giving consent due to either intoxication, or the victim was overcome by force or fear.

Gardner was booked into Leavenworth County Jail and was issued a $50,000 bond. He was released on his own recognizance just before 3:00 p.m. on Friday, according to the local outlet The Lawrence Times. Gardner is expected to appear in court on March 15.

"I am appalled by the alleged conduct of Gardner. Those alleged actions are not consistent with the values of the department and, if true, Gardner violated the trust of the community he was sworn to serve,” said Chief Rich Lockhart of the Lawrence Police Department, according to Law&Crime.

"The conduct Gardner is accused of is not tolerated by the department. The department acted swiftly when notified of the allegation and is grateful to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for its investigation into this matter. Most importantly, I would like to extend my appreciation to the community member who possessed the courage and bravery to come forward and report this allegation to our agency."

Gardner was the second former Lawrence police officer to have criminal charges filed against him last week, according to The Lawrence Times. Former officer David Shane Williams, 34, was charged with one felony and one misdemeanor, according to the outlet, and is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on April 19.

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