Authorities: Georgia police officer charged with assaulting a woman while he was off duty
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia police officer has been arrested on accusations of assaulting a woman during sex while he was off duty, authorities said Tuesday.
Officer Robert Lanier New was arrested Monday night and faces a misdemeanor charge of simple battery and a felony charge of aggravated assault, news outlets report. He was placed on administrative leave without pay.
New was being held without bond. It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
Police began investigating after receiving a complaint about New, spokeswoman Officer Sarah O’Hara said in an email.
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Cobb County Police Chief Michael Register said at a news conference Tuesday that it appears that New met the woman online.
News outlets report that an arrest warrant alleges New choked and slapped a woman during sex in March. The warrant says the woman cried but couldn’t tell New to stop because his hands were around her throat. Register said the woman is an adult but a forensic interview showed she has the mental capacity of a 10- to 14-year-old girl.
She was “shaking due to fear” when police interviewed her, the warrant says.
New sent the woman abusive text messages saying things like, “I am in charge, I am in control,” and continued to contact her even after she tried to distance herself from him, according to police.
New’s father told WSB-TV his son has been a police officer for 25 years.
“He’s helped people out and lots of people care for him,” Aubrey New told the television station. “He may have made a mistake, but I don’t see that as being so.”