Former Austin police officer arrested on sexual assault charge

Austin

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Walter Dodds resigned from the Austin Police Department in August.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former Austin police officer accused of sexual misconduct in April was arrested Thursday on a second-degree sexual assault charge.

The Austin Police Department announced it was investigating 34-year-old Walter Dodds back in May. Previously, the department said he was placed on restricted duty during the investigation, but APD told KXAN Friday that Dodds resigned on Aug. 31, before the administrative investigation into the incident was completed.

Right now, a criminal investigation is ongoing, APD said. An arrest affidavit released Friday to KXAN said Dodds allegedly assaulted a woman he met on a call as a police officer.

It said on April 18 around 6:13 p.m., Dodds was called out to an attempted suicide to an apartment in northeast Austin. He made contact with a man, who was later taken to the hospital to be evaluated, and a woman, who Dodds interviewed, according to the affidavit.

During the interview, the affidavit said Dodds got her phone number in order to contact her to disclose which hospital the man was being taken to. Body cam footage recorded Dodds allegedly asking the woman if she was going to lock her apartment.

Around three hours later, the affidavit said Dodds arrived at the hospital where the man was being treated to fill out paperwork.

More than two weeks later on April 29, the affidavit said the same woman called 911 to report a sexual assault by an officer that happened the same day as Dodd’s call. The woman told the responding female officer that she had allegedly been getting inappropriate calls from Dodds, who she said came to her apartment the evening of April 18 after the man was hospitalized, according to the affidavit.

The woman told the officer that sexual contact had occurred and that she was uncomfortable and was passed out, according to the affidavit.

Due to the allegations against Dodds, the APD Special Investigations Unit was called, the affidavit said. The woman reported on April 18, she and the man, who was hospitalized that day, were drinking a lot when he started to hurt himself. Family members called 911, the affidavit said.

The woman reported she spoke with the responding officer that day, but she didn’t know his name, the affidavit said. She said the officer told her he was going to call with the hospital details.

Call logs from the woman’s phone showed calls and a text message came from an APD cell phone issued to Dodds, according to the affidavit.

The woman reported the first call started out normal but became inappropriate, the affidavit said, with the officer asking if he could come over a couple times. She did not give consent to allow the officer inside her apartment.

The woman reported sometime after the last missed call around 9:09 p.m., she went to sleep in her bedroom alone, the affidavit said. She reported she was then awoken by the officer sexually assaulting her in uniform, according to the affidavit. The officer then left.

The affidavit said through DNA analysis, it is believed Dodds’ DNA was present at the scene.

Dodds allegedly called the woman two times after April 18, the affidavit said, and drove by her apartment building in a patrol car. Family members took a picture of the patrol car number, and it was the same one Dodds was driving that day, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said a juvenile witness in the apartment was also interviewed, who said he saw the officer enter the room that night.

Both Dodds’ APD cell phone and personal cell phone were analyzed in May by investigators, according to the affidavit, and showed his calls to the woman.

Based on the information gathered, the affidavit said Dodds allegedly sexually assaulted the woman on April 18.

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