What to Know
- Chief Inspector Carl Holmes, a 29-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, is accused of sex assault against colleagues.
- A grand jury indicted the high-ranking official on various counts, including aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.
- Holmes is suspended with intent to dismiss.
A veteran Philadelphia police chief inspector has been indicted by a grand jury on sexual assault charges, the police department said Thursday.
Chief Inspector Carl Holmes is accused of assaulting at least three colleagues in the police department, according to Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter. The incidents date back to 2004.
The charges include multiple counts of aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and related counts against at least three people, police said.
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"Based on the little that I know that the complainants were Philly police officers, it's just sickening that any woman or any officer would ever be subjected to something happening to them that should never happen whether in the workplace or in society," Coulter said during hastily organized midday Thursday news conference.
Coulter said she has yet to see the indictment, but that Holmes, 54, has been suspended with the intent to dismiss.
"He will no longer be a member of our department and then the legal process will play out," Coulter said.
Holmes was being processed Thursday. It's unclear if he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Holmes's arrest is the latest case of alleged sexual misconduct within the police force. In August, Richard Ross abruptly resigned as police commissioner after a lawsuit filed against the department alleged he ignored gender and racial discrimination among rank-and-file officers.
Coulter told reporters that she is actively working to rid the department of sexual misconduct.
"As I've said before, the facts of the case are extremely troubling, from start to end," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. "I appreciate that the DA re-visited the matter. It is extremely important to ensure the women who put their life on the line for Philadelphians feel safe and respected in their workplace."
"The Police Department has, in the past few years, instituted comprehensive, mandatory sexual harassment training for all officers," Kenney continued. "They have a comprehensive policy describing our position on harassment and discrimination, as well the avenues for reporting and redress that are available for any member who experiences or witnesses harassment or discrimination of any type."