Former DUPD officer acquitted of 2009 rape allegations

Webster Simmons was found not-guilty of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy—both felonies—by a Houston County jury after almost four hours of deliberation, according to a report from the Dothan Eagle of Dothan, A.L.

The 39-year-old was arrested in Houston County, A.L. Oct. 26, 2009 for allegedly raping and sodomizing a woman after leaving a nightclub there. Throughout the trial and investigation, Simmons did not deny having consensual sex with her, his lawyer Billy Sheffield II said.

If he had been convicted, he could have faced 10 to 99 years or life in prison, according to the report.

Simmons now plans to return to North Carolina, Sheffield told the Dothan Eagle, adding that he hopes to return to law enforcement.

“There was no justice today for a rape victim,” Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska said to the Dothan Eagle. “He forgot to pick up all his sex toys to take back with him to North Carolina because he’s sure not welcome here in Houston County.”

Valeska said verdicts such as this one discourage sexual assault victims from reporting crimes to the police.

Simmons began working for the Duke University Police Department Dec. 2008, after working at the Raleigh Police Department from 1998 until he resigned in 2007, The Chronicle reported this past April. Following his arrested, Simmons was suspend from DUPD with pay Oct. 27, 2009 and was then put on unpaid leave Nov. 4, 2009.

DUPD investigated whether Simmons violated Duke or DUPD policies Nov. 2009, but the investigation was promptly closed. DUPD Chief John Dailey said there was no indication that Simmons had violated any policies, The Chronicle reported.


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