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Graphic details of Richmond police case unsealed

RICHMOND — An unsealed transcript of a state police interview reveals graphic details of a sexual encounter between a woman and three Richmond police officers Oct. 26. The details shed light on why charges are being brought against the officers.

The woman said she "made arrangements to have sex" with Richmond police Sgt. James Rogers and officers Garry Murphy and Brian Hensley. Rogers was indicted in January on alternative counts of intimidating a witness and tampering with a witness. Officers Murphy and Hensley were each indicted on alternative counts of complicity to commit intimidation of a witness and complicity to tamper with a witness. Murphy was also indicted on a charge of fourth-degree assault for allegedly hitting the woman.

A transcript of the Jan. 27 state police interview was unsealed last week by Madison Circuit Court Judge William Clouse. The woman said she wanted to talk to state police because she felt pressure from Madison County Sheriff Nelson O'Donnell to pursue charges against the officers, even though the woman did not wish to do so.

During the interview, the woman told state police Detective Matt Feltner that Murphy and Rogers urinated in her mouth and Murphy slapped her in the face five times during a sexual encounter Oct. 26.

The woman did not wish to press charges against the officers because she maintains the acts were consensual.

But a neighbor of the woman reported the incident, and that led to an investigation by the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

The woman said Madison County Sheriff Nelson O'Donnell told her later, "I know that no female wants to be dominated or treated that way. ... And I was trying to explain to him, yeah, I did; that's a part of the game that we were playing. And he was just like saying, no, no."

The woman said she told O'Donnell she did not wish to pursue charges against the officers because it was consensual.

"I just said, I don't want anything to happen," she said she told O'Donnell. "Can you just drop it? And he promised me that he was not going to prosecute them and nothing was going to happen to them. He said, it was just like it never happened."

But the case was not dropped, and the woman was called to testify before a Madison County grand jury.

In another development in the case, a judge on Monday ruled he saw no need for Madison County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jennifer Smith to be called as a witness in the March 22 trial of three police officers.

Defense attorneys for the three officers had sought to have Smith and others with the commonwealth's attorney's office disqualified from the case because the defense believed the witness had been intimidated and threatened by the prosecution and the sheriff's office.

But Madison Circuit Court Judge William Clouse saw it differently.

"There is no compelling need to get to that issue by requiring the commonwealth and particularly Mrs. Smith to testify at this trial," Clouse said. "There just doesn't seem to be any sort of need to require the testimony of Mrs. Smith."

After the hearing, O'Donnell denied he intimidated or threatened the woman to pursue charges against the officers.

"I can assure you and the citizens of Madison County that under no circumstances have my officers nor my office nor myself intimidated or threatened anyone in this case, or any other case we've ever been involved with," O'Donnell said.

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