December 24, 2014

Cedar Park police officer suspended indefinitely after he's discovered --associating-- with a --suspected-- serial rapist.

12-24-2014 Texas:

In August, Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix announced the arrest of who he called a serial rapist: 19-year-old Jordan Benford. At the time, Mannix said there were five known victims and a possible 6th. Benford has been in the Williamson County Jail ever since.

"Our belief was the behavior was escalating and he's where he needs to be right now," said Mannix.

Mannix says when officers began their investigation in June, they went through Benford's phone as part of a search warrant. "In that cell phone were photographs of one of our officers in social settings with Mr. Benford," said Mannix.

Mannix says the officer, James Arrick, a six year veteran of the department appeared in two photos with the suspect. In one, the two were at a park, and looking at motorcycles in another.

"Immediately when that came to my attention, I ordered an internal affairs investigation based on the fact that I have an officer associated with a known felon, or associating with a known felon which is a violation of policy," Mannix said.

Benford was not a stranger to Cedar Park police. In 2012 he was arrested for the sexual assault of a student on the Vista Ridge High School campus.

Mannix says when questioned, Arrick did not confirm he knew Benford's criminal history.

"In police work, especially here in Cedar Park, we hold our employees to a very high standard and associating with people of ill repute in this case, a person suspected of several sex assaults does not reflect well on what we do and that is protect people from predators like Mr. Benford," Mannix said.

Arrick, however, was not terminated for his association with Benford. Mannix says Arrick was found to have done a warrant check on Benford which was a policy violation.

"He had no law enforcement purpose for doing that. He gave a few different accounts of why he may have done that, none of which were law enforcement purpose. So, I indefinitely suspected him for dishonesty and accessing a police database other than a law enforcement purpose," said Mannix

Arrick will appeal his indefinite suspension in a hearing on January 20th.

Arrick is being represented by attorney with the Texas Municipal Police Association. The association could not be reached for comment as of news time Tuesday. ..Source.. by Noelle Newton

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