TURRELL, Ark. — Turrell Police Chief Perry Jennings has been suspended after allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman while on duty.
Jennings is also a part-time police officer in Luxora.
The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office says he is being investigated by Arkansas State Police.
The Northeast News says the victim spoke with the publication and gave details about an assault in the police station bathroom.
WREG talked on the phone about the incident with a man who said he’s her boyfriend.
He says she was on her way to help him early Sunday morning, October 3 after he had car trouble in Mississippi.
A Valero truck stop in Turrell is where a 30-year-old woman says Turrell’s Chief of Police Perry Jennings found her asleep in her vehicle.
He says she woke up to chief Jennings tapping on her car window and saw a small amount of marijuana.
“He tells her he’s going to have to arrest her for possession of marijuana but he would give her a break if she would follow him to the police station,” he said.
He says they went to the police station and no one was there.
At one point, his girlfriend started crying and went to the bathroom to get a tissue.
Her boyfriend says Jennings followed her into the bathroom, lifted her shirt, began touching her inappropriately, and exposed himself to her and tells us as his girlfriend was crying she kept bringing up her children and believes that is why he stopped touching her.
Following the encounter, he said Jennings began sending his girlfriend text messages.
Jenning’s attorney released a statement in response to the allegations:
Mr. Jennings denies any wrongdoing and stands ready to cooperate with law enforcement’s investigation. It is my understanding that the sexual allegations are alleged to have occurred during an interaction between the woman and Mr. Jennings in a conference room located at Turrell City Hall. Mr. Jennings does admit that he came in contact with this woman at a local gas station and asked her to come to City Hall after finding her in possession of an illicit substance.
The conference room where Mr. Jennings met with the woman is equipped with large windows which allow people who are located outside of the building to clearly see inside of the room. Mr. Jennings denies that any sort of sexual interaction occurred between them, whatsoever.
It has come to Mr. Jennings’ attention that the woman has accused him of wrongdoing by indicating that he provided his phone number to her. During their interaction, the woman was extremely emotional, was in an unfamiliar area, and was having difficulty getting GPS to pull up on her phone. As such, Mr. Jennings provided his phone number to her, in case she had difficulty finding her way back to the interstate. Mr. Jennings denies that providing this information to the woman under these circumstances was inappropriate, and further denies ever requesting that she send pictures to him.
It has come to Mr. Jennings’ attention that there was an individual parked outside of City Hall who witnessed the interaction between Mr. Jennings and the woman, and who has provided a written statement. It is unknown to Mr. Jennings if there were other eyewitnesses, but if so, we urge those individuals to also reach out to law enforcement, so that this investigation can be completed in a timely manner.