Phenix City Police officer terminated, charged with first-degree rape
PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - A now former Phenix City Police officer finds himself on the wrong side of the law after a woman in custody accuses him of sexual assault.
On Monday afternoon, former five-year veteran Phenix City Police Officer Eldrick Kennedy responded to a shoplifting call at the Piggly Wiggly on the 280 bypass and made an arrest.
Fast forward to yesterday, the woman who was arrested in the shoplifting incident brought a case to the Russell County Sheriff's Department. She claims she was raped the day she was taken into custody by officer Kennedy while still in handcuffs at an undisclosed location off Highway 431.
Kennedy was brought in for questioning yesterday. He was immediately placed on administrative leave and soon after terminated by the department.
"The difference between his story and hers is he said it was consensual. She said it was not and that she was scared and fearful," Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said.
According to the sheriff's office, evidence revealed it took about 40 minutes for the officer to make the typical five to 10-minute drive to get to the Russell County Jail from Piggly Wiggly.
Kennedy also appeared to have turned his body camera off during the incident.
"This officer had violated a number of internal policies, violated a number of procedures, and of course we have probable cause to believe he committed this rape first," Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith said.
Kennedy had a hearing this morning before a Russell County judge and his bond was set at $60,000. He is being charged with first-degree rape, which in Alabama if found guilty holds a sentencing anywhere from 20 years to life in prison.
Kennedy is in the Lee County Jail to avoid being in jail with people he's arrested or investigated in Phenix City.