Stanislaus Police Officers Facing Assault and Sexual Assault in Separate Cases
In two separate cases in Stanislaus County, Police Officers Robert Hodges and Christopher Melton both face possible jail sentences for recent crimes they have committed. Hodges has been accused of having unlawful sex with an underage family member, and Melton has been charged with assault after another Police Officer reported misconduct against him for using excessive force while taking a suspect into custody.
In Modesto, Robert Hodges was accused in 2012 of sexually abusing a female family member. He was arrested on October 22nd on suspicion of having sex with an underage female. Hodges’ arrest stemmed from a tip given to the Modesto Police, which cited “several prior sexual molestation incidents committed by an employee of the Police Department.” Detectives were able to collect enough information regarding the incidents to attain a search warrant for Hodges.
Hodges, now a former Police Sergeant, and a 15 year veteran of the department prior to his arrest, was then placed on administrative leave while the investigation continued. He was able to make bail at $115,000. Hodges had no criminal history prior to his arrest.
According to a criminal complaint that was filed on October 24th, Hodges is accused of committing two counts of sexual penetration with a victim younger than 16, unlawful sexual intercourse with a victim younger than 16 and oral copulation with a person younger than 16.
Hodges appeared in court Tuesday morning and pleaded not guilty to a new set of charges against him – he failed to obey a court order not to contact the victim and her family. He will be in court again this Thursday for a pretrial hearing.
Officer Christopher Melton of Ceres, a nine year veteran of the Ceres Police Department, has been charged with misdemeanor assault from an incident that took place in April of this year.
On April 13th, Melton was dispatched to a residence in the 1600 block of Evans Road, a call that led to the accusation of misconduct by another Police Officer. The other Officer informed a supervisor within the Police Department of the incident, which resulted in the beginning of an investigation into the event.
As a result of the investigation, Melton was placed on administrative leave. He was never taken into custody and booked, which is common for misdemeanor charges. The investigation is still ongoing and no further information will be released at this moment.
Prior to this case, Melton was involved in another event in 2007 where he was accused of using excessive force to bring a suspect into custody, along with seven other Police Officers.
He and the other Officers were dispatched to a residence in the 3100 block of Burton Drive at 1:30 a.m. on a report of noise violations. Once inside the residence, Officers determined that there were minors consuming alcohol and began taking suspects, which is when the incidents occurred.
A group of partygoers who were at the house accused Melton and the other officers of assaulting the suspects being taken into custody; the witnesses claimed that officers were dragging women out of the house by their hair, slamming one man to a wall and beating him, using a taser gun on one man and even pepper spraying the man while he was in handcuffs.
Civil complaints were filed against the Officers involved, but the plaintiffs lost the case in federal court.
The Modesto Bee- Ex-Modesto Com Indicted in Sex-With-Girl Case
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