Local News

Bond lowered for Durham officer on kidnapping, sex assault charges

Posted April 11, 2011
Updated April 12, 2011

— A judge on Monday reduced the bond for a Durham Police Department supervisor charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a man a week ago.

Sgt. Lester Rhodes, 42, was arrested Friday afternoon after an internal investigation into a complaint lodged on April 3. According to an arrest warrant, Rhodes was on duty when he kidnapped a Hispanic man and sexually assaulted him.

A magistrate initially set a $1.2 million bond on the charges of first-degree sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping. A District Court judge lowered the bond to $400,000 on Monday.

The initial court appearance was held in the Durham County Courthouse. Local media expected Rhodes to appear in a courtroom at the county jail, where he was listed on the docket.

Police Chief Jose Lopez declined to comment on the case, saying the investigation is ongoing.

The State Bureau of Investigation hasn't been asked to assist in the investigation, said Jennifer Canada, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice.

The Attorney General's Office will handle the prosecution of the case, Canada said.

Rhodes joined the Durham Police Department in February 1996. He was promoted to corporal in July 1999 and to sergeant in September 2005.

He supervises eight officers in the department's Patrol Bureau.

Rhodes, who is on paid administrative leave from the police department, was being held Monday at the Person County jail. If he posts bond, the judge ordered that he not have any contact with the alleged victim or possess a weapon.


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  • mad_dash Apr 12, 2011

    Uhhh wow.. that story went sooo in the wrong direction I was thinking it would.. lol

  • cmccall69 Apr 11, 2011

    wait for the facts before rushing to judge another man, pray for him, his family and all of those involved

  • jmenot Apr 11, 2011

    sbi needs to investigate , especially if he supervises 8 other men. there's no telling what they have done and get by with. still getting paid, and who is paying his salary???? they can let the teachers go though. what a mess. let's see if media stays on it or it simply goes away.

  • Redleader2base Apr 11, 2011

    The Durham Police Department most likely wants to keep the SBI out of anything they can considering all the improprieties that have been exposed in the DPD over the last few years. Of course that being said, the SBI can't exactly consider itself the most credible organization as of late. I support law enforcement completely, but image is important when it comes to civil credibility.

  • iwannaseethereceipts Apr 11, 2011

    According the the news this evening this was a male prostitue that he picked up. Why is this not in the story as well?

  • Killian Apr 11, 2011

    Waaaait a minute. I get the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing, and I completely support it. However...to have behaved in a manner that provided enough evidence to have you held on $400K bond, and he is still getting a paycheck? What exactly could the explanation be on that one?

  • what_in_the____ Apr 11, 2011

    So, he's sitting in jail under a $400k bond and still getting paid!!! So is the money going into his jail account so he can buy candy, radios, and snacks? Haha...that's pathetic!

  • what_in_the____ Apr 11, 2011

    Maybe innocent until proven otherwise, but had enough p/c to charge him. I'm surprised that the chief didn't ask the SBI to investigate these serious allegations.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Apr 11, 2011

    "Bond lowered for Durham officer on kidnapping, sex assault charges"


    Under what conditions???

    Not in the story.

  • mtngirldcm Apr 11, 2011