New Rochelle sergeant charged with first-degree rape

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A New Rochelle police sergeant has been charged with first-degree forcible rape Wednesday in an incident stemming from a domestic dispute.Sgt. David Rodriguez was arraigned Wednesday in New Rochelle City Court with his wife, Darlene Rodriguez, co-anchor of WNBC-TV's "Today in New York," by his side. He pleaded not guilty and posted the $25,000 bail.

The veteran officer was one of several who responded to a domestic dispute at a Cliff Street home in February. A 17-year-old girl was allegedly assaulted by her boyfriend in that incident. The teen claims that after his shift ended, Rodriguez came back to her house and raped her. Police say the accusations were made when the girl, an illegal immigrant, visited the Westchester County District Attorney?s Office the Monday after the incident in an attempt to get the charges against her live-in boyfriend dropped.

New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll says the department did a thorough investigation and found probable cause to make an arrest.

Rodriguez's lawyer, Stephen Worth, said outside court that the investigation had been conducted "in a rather slipshod fashion.? He added, ?The complainant has a number of motives to make a false allegation."

Rodriguez was suspended without pay Wednesday. He also had to sign an order of protection pertaining to the alleged victim.Police,residents stick up for officer accused of rape

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