San Diego police officer suspended pending rape allegations

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A Point Loma Nazarene University administrator called Wednesday on all those who attend classes and work at the liberal-arts college to refrain from “harmful gossip and speculation” regarding the alleged sex assault of a PLNU student at the hands of a San Diego police officer and a female campus food-service worker.

Caye Smith, university vice president for student development, issued a memorandum to students, professors and other staffers at the Christian school, urging them to join her in “rejecting attempts to sensationalize this case.”

“Please pray for all involved,” she wrote. “Please help us respond with compassion, and make a deliberate choice to not engage in harmful gossip and speculation.”

Smith noted that no charges have been filed in connection with the purported off-campus rape last Wednesday.

Late that night, a woman being treated at a hospital told a physician that an off-duty San Diego police officer and a female friend of his had sexually assaulted her at a residence in El Cajon earlier in the evening, ECPD Lt. Mark Coit said.

The officer was put on compulsory unpaid leave two days later and was directed to turn in his badge and service gun, SDPD spokesman Gary Hassen said.

Authorities have withheld his name, but several broadcast news outlets have identified him as an officer assigned to an anti-graffiti task force.

The woman accused of taking part in the crime works for a company called Sodexo, which provides cafeteria services for the university. She also has been suspended from her job pending completion of investigations into the alleged rape, according to Smith.

Police have released little information in the case, except to say that the alleged victim and the suspects were prior acquaintances.

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