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Former cop on trial in rape case

By Michael Davis

mdavis@news-daily.com

A former Forest Park Police officer admits to having sex with a woman he had just ticketed during a traffic stop, but his attorneys argued Tuesday that the sex was consensual, not rape.

Kenneth Andrew Schmidt, 40, faces a 10-count indictment on charges including false imprisonment, kidnapping, sexual assault against a person in custody, rape and violation of oath by a public officer.

His trial is under way in Clayton County Superior Court.

"Mr. Schmidt, he was absolutely a bad officer. He was a bad cop ... he should not have taken time out to have sex with anyone -- with anyone," Marcia Fuller, one of his attorneys, told a jury Tuesday. "He made a bad decision and he lost his job and his family because of it. He has suffered the consequences."

But the victim, who is not being named because of the nature of the alleged crime, doesn't appear in a police interview to be "traumatized," Fuller said,during her opening statement to jurors.

"She's not traumatized, because it's clear that she has set this up," she said.

Schmidt pulled the woman and two companions over on Old Dixie Highway just after midnight on April 6, 2008, prosecutors said. After issuing her several citations and allowing her to arrange to have her car towed, prosecutors say Schmidt was giving her a "courtesy ride" home when he drove her to a remote location, forced her to perform a lewd act on him, and raped her.

Prosecutors also say he failed to cite anyone for an open container of alcohol found in the vehicle and a small amount of marijuana.

Schmidt was reportedly fired from the Forest Park Police Department shortly after the incident for violating department policy.

Forest Park Police Maj. Chris Matson testified Tuesday that he administered the oath of office to Schmidt in December 2007, when he began working with the department. Matson said that having sex on duty, whether it is consensual or not, would violate ethics rules included in the oath.

"They're getting paid to police, not to play," he said.

Schmidt's trial is expected to continue today.