Officer accused of sexually assaulting arrested driver’s girlfriend

Police chief: Cover Township officer resigned shortly after complaint filed

Covert Township police cruiser
This July 20, 2016 photo shows an officer's cruiser parked outside the Covert Township Police Department.


COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Prosecutors could decide this week whether to file charges against a former Covert Township police officer in an alleged sexual assault.

A source familiar with the investigation said the officer arrested a man for drunken driving on July 9. He then allegedly dropped the man’s girlfriend off at a motel in Paw Paw before locking up the drunk driver at the Van Buren County Jail.

The source said the officer then is accused of returning to the motel while off-duty and sexually assaulting the woman.

Covert Township Police Chief Jay Allen said the alleged victim filed the complaint with his department the day it allegedly happened.

“I looked into it and during the course of looking at the complaint, it was discovered that a possible crime might be committed,” Allen said.

Allen said he immediately turned the case over to Michigan State Police.

“We got a neutral party to investigate so everybody can see there’s no bias one way or another in the investigation,” Allen said.

Allen said the officer, who started working at the department two months ago, resigned shortly after the allegations were made.

Michigan State Police Detective 1st Lt. Chuck Christensen would only tell 24 Hour News 8 that his office started investigating an assault allegation two weeks ago involving a Covert Township police officer. He refused to release additional details.

Van Buren County Prosecutor Michael Bedford said he just received the report on Wednesday. He said he expects to finish his review on Thursday before deciding whether to file charges.

Chief Allen said his department can cover the township with its seven remaining officers:

“We’ve got plenty of coverage. All the shifts are covered.”

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