DUPD cop arrested on rape charges

DUPD officer Webster Simmons was arrested Monday on first degree charges of rape and sodomy in Alabama. Duke has put him on paid suspension.
DUPD officer Webster Simmons was arrested Monday on first degree charges of rape and sodomy in Alabama. Duke has put him on paid suspension.

A Duke University Police Department officer was suspended after he was arrested on first degree rape and sodomy charges in Alabama Monday.

Webster Delenn Simmons, 37, is being held in the Houston County jail on $120,000 bond for the two charges, said Capt. Antonio Gonzalez of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.

Simmons was suspended with pay Tuesday from DUPD, where he has worked as a patrol officer for a little more than a year, DUPD Chief John Dailey said.

Dailey said DUPD will open a routine investigation into Simmons’ conduct at Duke, but added that there is no indication that Simmons committed crimes at the University.

DUPD has been in contact with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office in southeast Alabama to get more information about the incident, Dailey said.

Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes said Simmons assaulted a 34-year-old woman Saturday between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m, after Simmons and the woman left a Houston County night club together.

Simmons knew the woman and bought her a drink before the two left the club, Hughes said, adding that the woman may have been drugged.

The woman woke up during the alleged attack handcuffed and gagged, and then became unconscious again, Hughes said. She woke up at 5 a.m. after the alleged assault.

“This is not the types of rapes or sodomies that we commonly see,” Hughes said. “It makes us wonder if this individual has committed these types of crimes anywhere in the United States that he may have been.”

Gonzalez said police sent the victim’s blood to a state lab, but he does not know when results will be available.

The “strapping devices” used in the alleged rape will be tested for genetic material, he added.

“The odds are, it’s going to be there for us,” Gonzalez said.

The alleged victim reported the incident to police Saturday afternoon and then went to the hospital, Gonzalez said.

He said a rape kit was not used to collect evidence from the woman because she showered before going to the hospital.

Gonzalez said police interviewed Simmons and the woman and collected evidence before arresting Simmons Monday.

After obtaining a warrant, police searched Simmons’ car and found two pairs of handcuffs, a whip, a ball gag, rope and a power device with a nail attached, Hughes said. He added that some of those items may have been used in the alleged attack.

Simmons’ DUPD-issued gun was also found in the car, Gonzalez said.

First degree rape and sodomy are both class A felonies in Alabama. If Simmons is convicted, he faces a sentence of at least ten years for each charge.

Embedded here is a video of the press conference uploaded by YouTube user JSKeppy.


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