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New details shed light on Austin police investigation into officer's alleged sexual misconduct

A woman claims the officer raped her several hours after initially responding to her home for a 9-1-1 call.
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AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department announced on Monday it is investigating one of its own after receiving an allegation of sexual misconduct. 

Although the department has not shared any details about the case, a search warrant obtained by KVUE on Thursday shed some light on the investigation.

RELATED: Austin police officer under investigation for allegation of 'sexual misconduct'

The case began on April 18 when Officer Walter Dodds responded to an attempted suicide call at a home near Dessau Road and East Braker Lane.

There, he met a man and a woman and determined the man was a danger to himself. The man was then transported to the hospital for further evaluation. 

During his interview with the woman, according to the warrant, Officer Dodds obtained her cell phone number and told her he would call her to let her know to what hospital medics were taking the man. 

At the end of their interaction, which was caught on body-cam video, Officer Dodds is heard asking the woman whether she was going to lock the door to her apartment. She said she wasn't, and Officer Dodds warned her about a stranger getting in, according to the warrant. 

Eleven days later, on April 29, the woman called police to complain that she had been receiving inappropriate phone calls from an APD officer, later identified as Officer Dodds, and that he had visited her apartment on the night of the attempted suicide call. 

"She said the police officer had sex with her while she 'was passed out,'" the investigator wrote. 

The woman told investigators Officer Dodds called her five times from his work-issued cell phone the evening of April 18. She said the first call started out normal but then the conversation became "inappropriate," according to the warrant. 

"She said the officer asked if he could come over. She said she 'dodged' the question and attempted to change the subject. She said then the officer asked if she would take off his uniform and again asked if he could come over," the investigator wrote.

That's when the woman ended the call, and she told investigators at no point did she ever give Officer Dodds consent to enter her apartment.

Sometime after the last missed call from Officer Dodds, the woman went to sleep alone in her bedroom after taking two shots of vodka. She told investigators she was "super intoxicated." She claims she was awoken by Officer Dodds, who was allegedly raping her, according to the warrant.

The woman told investigators she recalled Officer Dodds wearing his full police uniform and believed he was wearing his duty belt. 

The woman's teen nephew also told investigators he recalled Officer Dodds knocking on the door to the apartment that night wearing his "security uniform" and that he was using his hand to cover the name on the front of his uniform shirt. The nephew said Officer Dodds walked directly into his aunt's bedroom and shut the door before leaving the bedroom a short time later and exiting the apartment.

A day after filing her complaint with the police, the woman consented to an examination by a certified forensic nurse. Its results are still pending. 

An officer collected for evidence the fitted sheet Officer Dodds had allegedly ejaculated onto when the woman claims he raped her. A detective believes the trace DNA evidence left on the sheet will help determine whether Officer Dodds is a suspect in the sexual assault case. 

An officer obtained a DNA sample from Officer Dodds on May 11. Online records show he has not been charged with a crime. 

In addition to the criminal investigation, APD said its Internal Affairs Division was conducting an internal investigation into Dodds’ alleged actions. 

According to the department, Officer Dodds has been an APD officer since December of 2017 and patrols the northeast Austin area. He has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the investigations, APD said.

APD would not release any more information "in order to maintain the integrity of the ongoing investigations."


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