Local News

Bond lowered for Durham officer on kidnapping, sex assault charges

Posted April 11, 2011 3:06 p.m. EDT
Updated April 12, 2011 12:07 p.m. EDT

— 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.