Ex-Lawrence cop charged with rape in the line of duty

LAWRENCE, Kan. – A former Lawrence police officer faces more than two dozen charges in Douglas County, accused of raping a woman in the line of duty.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigations and the Kansas Highway Patrol arrested Jonathan Gardner, 41, Last weekand he was incarcerated in the Leavenworth County Jail.

On Monday, he was formally charged with one count of rape, 12 counts of unlawful acts involving computers and 12 counts of official misconduct.

The KBI said it launched an investigation after Lawrence police asked for help. The police department received a report from a woman saying Gardner sexually assaulted her while on duty on January 1, 2017.

After the agency completed its investigation, Lawrence police terminated the officer’s work with the department.

The KBI added that the computer and misconduct charges also stem from the discovery that the former officer conducted illegal and unauthorized searches of Kansas’ Criminal Justice Information System, as well as systems. LPD public security internals from 2017 to 2020.

Lawrence Police Chief Craig Owens released the following statement:

“I am appalled by Gardner’s alleged conduct. These alleged actions are inconsistent with departmental values ​​and, if true, Gardner violated the trust of the community he was sworn to serve. Most importantly, I would like to express my gratitude to the member of the community who had the courage and bravery to come forward and report this allegation to our agency.

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