CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. —
A Chattanooga Police officer has been taken into custody Thursday, charged with felony kidnapping and sexual battery.
Chattanooga PD says they opened an internal investigation into an allegation of sexual assault against Officer Benjamin Dessalines on Tuesday.
Dessalines serves in CPD’s Neighborhood Policing Bureau.
According to the arrest report, on a woman was caught shoplifting at a local Food City where Dessalines was working a side job.
The paperwork says Dessalines offered to give her a ride home, but stopped at his apartment and told her to come inside with him.
The woman told officers she wanted to stay in the car, but she did so because she was afraid.
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Inside the apartment, the report says Dessalines tried to have sex with her. When she refused, he took her back to his car.
The woman told CPD’s Special Victims Unit that he told her to help him find his gun. She refused, and said he then pulled a gun from a white bag in the back seat and began loading it.
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The report says the victim emphasized that the handgun was “not his duty weapon,” which she told officials he had carried into the apartment on his gun belt.
She asked him why he was loading the gun, and he replied that he was going into an unfamiliar area, according to the report.
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The two drove to a back alley, where the woman said they were met by another car going the opposite way.
At this point, she says Dessalines muttered “I hope that’s not a cop,” and she feared he was going to kill her.
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The report says Dessalines then took her back to the address she’d given him, where she says he told her not to say anything about what had happened.
On Thursday, the investigation was turned over to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Dessalines on felony kidnapping and sexual battery charges.
Deputies say they found a small black handgun and two white bags in his car.
“There are hundreds of Chattanooga Police Officers who do great work every day to uphold the mission of the Chattanooga Police Department and build trust with community members,” said Chief David Roddy.
“Investigations into conduct of this magnitude are the result of choices and actions of a few and do not represent the values of the department and the many officers who serve the Chattanooga community,” said Roddy.
Dessalines was hired by CPD in 2016. CPD says he was relieved of duty on Wednesday.
CPD says he will stay on administrative leave “until a final disposition in the Internal Affairs investigation is reached.”
He is in Hamilton County Jail on $45,000 bond. He has a court date set for December 7th.