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Jonesboro police officer arrested

By Ed Brock

A Jonesboro police officer assigned to a middle school as a reserve officer has been arrested and charged with molesting children prior to his assignment there.

Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Kenneth Jerome Alexander, 41, of Hampton, Tuesday afternoon, GBI spokeswoman Vicki Metz said.

Jonesboro's interim Police Chief Robert Thomas requested a GBI investigation on Monday "after allegations surfaced about inappropriate contact the officer may have had with two teenage girls," Metz said.

Alexander is also charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes and violation of his oath of office in connection with the incident that involved two 14-year-old girls. Neither Metz nor Thomas would release how Alexander knew the girls.

The charges are baseless and Alexander knows nothing about their origin, said Lee Sexton, Alexander's attorney.

"Ultimately he will be found not guilty of any crime," Sexton said.

Thomas said he received the complaint last week and said the incident occurred in the latter part of December or the first part of January.

"Immediately after looking into it I found out there was enough merit to request that the GBI perform an investigation," Thomas said. "We're just shocked at the allegations made against one of our officers."

Alexander was on duty at the time of his arrest and Thomas called him into his office to be taken into custody by the GBI agents. Alexander has been with the department about three and a half years and there had been no other complaints about him to Thomas' knowledge.

While Alexander served for five days as a school resource officer at Jonesboro Middle School last week, Thomas said the charges are not related to anybody at the school. However, Walker said the incidents are believed to have occurred while Alexander was on duty.

The accusations include touching, fondling and taking pictures, according to the warrant.

Alexander's wife of two months, Kimberly Alexander, said she was supporting her husband absolutely. The two were married on Jan. 17 at the Pristine Chapel in McDonough and they honeymooned in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The Lovejoy Middle School String Ensemble performed at the wedding.

Sexton said he had told the Alexander family to make Alexander's $30,000 bail as soon as possible but he remained in jail as of Wednesday evening.

Among his other duties, Alexander was also one of two Jonesboro police officers brought in to provide security at Clayton County Board of Education meetings. That assignment came after Board Chairwoman Nedra Ware accused one of the Clayton County Police officers who previously worked the meetings of being a racist.

Alexander also spoke to the Jonesboro City Council regarding its policy of "at will" termination of city employees. The subject came up during a city council meeting in January during which the resignation of Jonesboro Police Chief Mark Harris was announced. The resignation came amid rumors that Harris was being forced out.

"I want to get a house. Will I have a job in 2009?" Alexander said during the meeting. "I give Jonesboro my best every day ? If I give someone my best I want them to appreciate my best."

Walker said the charges against Alexander had absolutely nothing to do with his comments at the meeting. Sexton said "we will not discount any possible motivation for the unsubstantiated charges brought against a police officer."