For Immediate Release - October 01, 2008

Lawrence Police Pleads Not Guilty To Rape

Lawrence Police Officer Kevin Sledge, 46, of 143 Porcupine Road, Salem, NH, pleaded not guilty today at his arraignment in Lawrence District Court to charges of rape, kidnapping and indecent assault and battery. The alleged offenses occurred on Friday, September 26, while Sledge was on duty and in uniform.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Jessica Strasnick argued for bail to be set at $100,000 cash, while defense attorney Ronald Ranta asked that Sledge be released on personal recognizance. Judge Thomas Brennan set bail at $10,000, and imposed a bail warning, meaning that if Sledge gets into further legal trouble while this case is pending he could be held without bail for up to 60 days.

The judge further ordered that Sledge stay away from and have no contact with the alleged victim in this case, either directly or indirectly, and that he surrender all firearms.

Sledge returns to court on October 31 for a probable cause hearing.

The case is being investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett, and Lawrence Police.

-30-