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Lowell police officer accused of raping homeless teenager while on duty, DA says

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 6/27/2019
a man wearing a hat and glasses: Ofc. Kevin Garneau © File, 2017 Ofc. Kevin Garneau

A Lowell police officer faces charges after he was accused of sexually assaulting a homeless teenager while on duty, the Middlesex County District Attorney said.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Kevin Garneau, 49, of Pelham, New Hampshire, was arraigned Thursday on two counts of rape in Middlesex Superior Court. He was released on personal recognizance and ordered to stay away from the victim and to wear a GPS monitoring device.

He will return to court on July 23.

The victim was 16 years old and homeless in 2016 and living in a tent in an area of Lowell set up to offer shelter to members of the city’s homeless population, the district attorney said. Garneau was working as part of a community outreach group to provide assistance to homeless individuals, including those with substance misuse issues, the district attorney said.

Garneau allegedly entered the victim’s tent and told her there were warrants out for her arrest, but in exchange for her providing sexual services he would not arrest her, the district attorney said. Garneau allegedly sexually assaulted the victim several more times in the months after the initial assault, the district attorney said.

Lowell police learned of the allegations in January of 2019 and immediately launched an investigation, the district attorney said.

Garneau was directly indicted Wednesday by a Middlesex Grand Jury.

According to the police department, Garneau was placed on administrative leave in May, when the internal investigation began.

"I'm astonished and deeply disappointed," Lowell Superintendent of Police Raymond Richardson said in a statement provided by the department. "I acted as soon as we were made aware of these allegation. This is not what the men and women of the Lowell PD represent."

READ MORE:Lowell police officer accused of raping homeless teenager while on duty, DA says

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