The Capitol Police department arrested one of its own officers and placed him on administrative leave after a Congressional employee accused him of sexual assault.
Glenn Wardell Newell Jr., 34, is charged with misdemeanor attempted sexual abuse stemming from a May 14 incident in which, while he was on duty, he allegedly groped a female employee of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms’ Office.
“The defendant approached her and touched her in an inappropriate manner without the consent of the complainant,” according to police records.
The accuser, Ashley Harper, said the incident happened about 6:45 a.m. in the lobby of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms’ Office on the sixth floor of 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
Newell “approached her and using his right hand grabbed and pinched her right breast,” according to a police report filed 10 days after the incident. Harper “stated that she pushed [Newell’s] hand away. [Newell] then asked [her,] ‘Are you wearing a bra?’”
Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said the department issued an arrest warrant June 17 after it completed an internal investigation, and Newell was arrested the same day.
“Officer Newell has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the U.S. Attorney’s Office criminal portion of this matter,” Schneider said in an email.
Congressional employees are not permitted to speak with the media. Harper, who works as a telephone operator, was not able to get clearance from her supervisors to comment for this article by press time.
Newell was arraigned on June 18 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and was served with a stay-away order. He has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court June 27 for a status hearing.
Newell’s public defender, Amanda David, declined a request for comment.
Newell, who has been an officer with the department for more than 10 years, will continue to receive his yearly salary of more than $70,000 while he is on leave, but he will not be able to work or collect overtime, a staple salary booster for Capitol Police officers.
Newell married a fellow Capitol Police officer in 2004, according to a wedding announcement in the Dec. 13, 2004, issue of Jet Magazine.
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