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Former Kansas police officer of year facing rape charges


DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A onetime Kansas law enforcement officer of the year is accused of raping a woman who could not provide consent because she was drunk.

A Ford County grand jury earlier this month indicted Guillermo Gutierrez, formerly of the Dodge City Police Department, on charges of felony rape, felony aggravated sexual battery and misdemeanor sexual battery. The alleged assault took place on May 19.

Gutierrez's attorney, Van Z. Hampton, said his client maintains his innocence.

“He has confidence in the justice system that he worked in for several years, knowing that he will ultimately be vindicated by dismissal of the case or by a jury’s acquittal,” Hampton told the Kansas City Star.

Gutierrez was an officer with the department from May 2011 to Aug. 4 of this year. Police Chief Drew Francis said in a statement that Gutierrez was placed on administrative leave and stripped of police powers “immediately upon learning of the allegations.”

The rape charge carries a maximum penalty of more than 50 years in prison.

Gutierrez was named the Kansas Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in May 2021 through an awards program organized by The American Legion. He was presented with a plaque in Topeka recognizing him for “outstanding and selfless service.”