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Former Forest Park cop sentenced to prison

By Michael Davis

mdavis@news-daily.com

With jury deliberations continuing for a second day, Tuesday, a former Forest Park Police officer pleaded guilty to two charges of the 10 he faced in a 2008 rape case.

Kenneth Schmidt, 40, pleaded guilty to sodomy and violation of oath of office, according to Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson, and his attorney, Michael G. Kam. Schmidt was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and 10 years on probation; comply with some sex offender provisions and pay a $1,000 fine, attorneys said. He was also ordered to not have any contact with the alleged victim.

He faced a 10-count indictment on charges that also included rape, kidnapping, sexual battery, sexual assault against a person in custody, and false imprisonment.

After more than a day of deliberating, jurors had still not reached a unanimous verdict on some of the charges, according to attorneys involved in the case. Lawson said the plea deal was reached Tuesday afternoon.

Schmidt was on trial for the alleged April 6, 2008 rape of a Forest Park woman he had just pulled over and ticketed. Because the woman had no proof of insurance and her license was suspended, Schmidt arranged for her car to be towed back to her home, according to a dashboard video played in court.

While two companions in the woman's car at the time of the pullover rode back with the tow truck, prosecutors alleged that Schmidt drove to a remote location on Ash Street with the alleged victim in the back seat. While behind a building, Schmidt allegedly forced the woman to perform a lewd act on him, and then raped her. The woman is not being named because of the nature of the incident.

Schmidt has not denied that sex occurred, but his lawyers have said it was consensual.

Schmidt, who had been with the Forest Park Police Department for about four months when the incident occurred, was fired after the allegations surfaced.

Kam said Schmidt pleaded guilty to the acts he had always acknowledged committing.

"He pleaded guilty to what he did, and he had always admitted to, but adamantly refused to plead to the force and the consent issues," Kam said. "He acknowledged he should not have accepted her advances and certainly not while on duty."