Police officer resigns after sex allegations

Police officer resigns after sex allegations

February 22nd, 2011 by Kate Harrison Belz in News

A LaFayette, Ga., police officer has resigned after facing allegations that he had sexual contact with a woman inside his patrol car last week, officials said.

Sgt. Michael T. Manning, the city's K-9 officer, resigned Thursday after the woman's husband issued a complaint against Manning, according to Police Chief Tommy Freeman.

The husband claimed his wife and Manning had sexual contact after she got into his car outside their house on Jackson Street between 3 and 5 a.m., Freeman said.

Manning is denying the allegations, but during the course of the department's investigation, the officer lied about the course of events, according to Freeman.

"We found out he was lying to us about whether or not he had a woman in his patrol car," Freeman said. "We gave him the choice to resign or be terminated, and he chose to resign."

Manning could not be reached Monday for comment.

The woman, whom Freeman refused to name, first told police that sexual contact had taken place, then changed her story.

Freeman said it's going to be difficult to confirm whether the complaint is true, even though three of the woman's neighbors said they saw Manning and the woman in the car together.

"We know they were in the car, but we don't know what occurred then. The allegation is unsubstantiated," Freeman said.

The nature of the relationship between Manning and the woman is unclear, Freeman said, although he had never arrested her or written any kind of criminal incident report in which she was involved.

Freeman said Manning had been with the department for eight years and had a clean record.

"We've never had a problem with him before now," Freeman said.

Freeman said he hopes to close the investigation today.