LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - A Lowell police officer accused of repeatedly raping a homeless teen while he was on duty in 2016 has been arraigned on rape charges.
Kevin Garneau, 49 of Pelham, New Hampshire, was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on two counts of rape, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s Office.
Officials say the victim was a 16-year-old homeless girl who was living in a tent in an area aimed at helping the local homeless population.
Garneau was assigned to a community group that was assisting the homeless population.
Garneau allegedly entered the girl’s tent and said there were warrants for her arrest but he wouldn’t arrest her if she performed sexual acts on him. Official say he assaulted the girl several more times in the subsequent months.
Lowell police were made aware of the incidents in January and launched an investigation. He was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday.
In a statement, Lowell Police Superintendent Raymond Richardson said, “I’m astonished and deeply disappointed. I acted as soon as we were made aware of these allegations. This is not what the men and women of the Lowell PD represent. They police legally, respectfully and compassionately.”
Garneau was released on personal recognizance and was fitted with a GPS monitoring device. He has been ordered to stay away from the victim.
He is due back in court July 23.
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