Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Officer Rajat Sharda Arrested for Rape
Police said the incident occurred at Bancroft Tower in August 2013 while Officer Rajat Sharda was "working as a police officer."
According to court records, Officer Sharda allegedly asked a woman what she would be willing to do to avoid arrest and "made her do something against her will in exchange for not being arrested."
The woman told department investigators the officer exposed himself to her and raped her digitally, according to court records. Reports also accuse the officer of taking the woman's bed comforter, which she had her in possession at the time, and threatening her to keep quiet.
The woman told police that Officer Sharda said she "better not talk about this and if she did, he would find her, her children and her family."
Worcester police received the complaint sometime after the alleged incident, which allegedly occurred at Bancroft Tower, on Bancroft Tower Road.
Officer Sharda, 32, of Worcester, was arrested Monday night in Hudson and arraigned Tuesday in Central District Court. He is charged with aggravated rape, extortion by a police officer, open and gross lewdness, armed robbery and witness intimidation. Police list the officer as living in Hudson, but court records list a Worcester address.
Officer Sharda was placed on restricted duty while the case was being investigated by the department's sexual assault unit. Worcester police did not specify when the complaint was filed.
"Worcester police launched an extensive investigation into the allegations made against Mr. Sharda," police said in a news release. "Based on the findings in the investigation, Worcester police obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Sharda."
Not-guilty pleas were entered during Tuesday's arraignment. Officer Sharda posted $7,500 bail. He is due to return to court on March 25.
The officer, who is the only Indian officer on the department, was also ordered to turn in his passport.
Bruce Hopper, the officer's lawyer, said his client denies the allegations.
"For this officer, there is more to this than just defending himself in court against false allegations," Mr. Hopper said. "Now he must defend his honor as well."
Mr. Hopper said his client was recalled to the Worcester Department in December 2011 after being part of the 2009 graduating class, which was later laid off by the city.