LAWRENCE, Mass. – A police officer was charged Tuesday with kidnapping and raping a woman while on duty and in uniform.
Kevin Sledge, 46, of Salem, N.H., was arrested after being stopped in Pelham, N.H., shortly after authorities issued a warrant. Police had asked Sledge to turn himself in, but he went missing and family members told police he might be suicidal.
He waived extradition Tuesday afternoon in Derry, N.H., District Court and was returned to Massachusetts.
Sledge is accused of leaving his post in the booking room early Friday and driving off in his personal vehicle. Police say he then encountered the woman and raped her.
Police say he took the woman to a parking lot near the police station, where she remained until reporting the alleged incident a few hours later.
Mayor Michael Sullivan sent Sledge a letter Monday saying he planned to fire him based on the latest incident. Sledge has been disciplined several times during 15 years on the force.
Sledge has been accused of rape before. In 1999, he was found not guilty of raping an ex-girlfriend and returned to duty.
In 2005, Sledge and his girlfriend accused each other of assault and battery in Salem, N.H., the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence reported. The paper said he was stripped of his gun and badge and given a job at headquarters, but eventually was returned to duty.
The paper also said Sledge was fined $500 in 2004 after pleading guilty in Concord, N.H., to tampering with a public record, a misdemeanor. Investigators said he had used a fake Lawrence address several years earlier when he got a license to sell cars in New Hampshire.