Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Officer William Edwards Sr Charged with Sexual Assault Against Minor
State police have obtained an arrest warrant charging William R. Edwards Sr., a well-known city patrolman, with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
Edwards, 45, has been hospitalized under psychiatric care for several days, preventing state police from serving a warrant that charges him with risk of injury to a minor, third-degree sexual assault, unlawful restraint and tampering with a witness, according to several law enforcement sources. Details of the alleged crimes are not available.
Over the weekend, New London City Manager Martin Berliner sent an e-mail to members of the City Council to inform them of the pending charges. Berliner wrote that police Chief Bruce F. Rinehart informed him on Dec. 4 that state police were investigating Edwards for an off-duty incident. The city manager said he did not plan to tell the councilors until Edwards was arrested “in fairness to Officer Edwards.”
”Unfortunately, since the process has taken so long, you may have heard about this situation from someone else. For that I am sorry,” Berliner wrote. “At this point, a signed arrest warrant is on file with state police. You will be informed when the warrant is executed.”
Rinehart said Edwards requested and is currently on paid leave. He said he could not comment on the allegations since the investigation is ongoing.
Edwards is a 20-year veteran of the police department who serves as the city's crime prevention officer, working with various groups of city residents, including children, the elderly, neighborhood watch groups and business owners. His family is well known in New London, where Edwards' father, Kenneth W. Edwards Sr., is a retired deputy fire chief, and his brother, Kenneth W. Edwards Jr., is a retired police captain.
Members of the police union discussed the situation at a meeting on Tuesday so officers would be aware of Edwards' impending arrest and be prepared to respond to any backlash they might hear during the course of their duties in the community, according to a police source.
Edwards is the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and was in charge of its finances, according to a source, who said a committee of patrolmen are checking the PBA's finances. He is also a past president of the New London Rotary Club.
Edwards is married and has two children. Court records indicate that Deutsche Bank foreclosed on the family home at 68 Cedar Grove Ave. in July and that the bank repossessed the home.
The New London Police Department and the county's state's attorneys have not been involved in the investigation. To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, state police detectives at Troop E investigated the allegations involving Edwards and presented a warrant affidavit to be signed by officials in Windham County.