Former Winston-Salem police officer accused of sexually assaulting woman during police call

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A former Winston-Salem police officer has been charged with sexual battery, according to a news release.

On Feb. 20, Winston-Salem Police Department Patrol Officer Harry L. White III responded to a call for service at the Best Western Plus University Inn at 3050 University Parkway.

Approximately four minutes after Officer White cleared from the scene of the call for service, the Winston-Salem Police Department was notified of an allegation by an adult female who encountered Officer White during the earlier call for service.

The adult female alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Officer White during the call for police service at the hotel.

Field commanders for the Patrol Division immediately responded to the hotel and secured the scene. The responsibility for the investigation into the allegation of criminal conduct against Officer White was assumed by detectives in the Special Victim’s Unit of the Winston-Salem Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

Officer White was placed on administrative leave and the criminal investigation has been on-going and active since Feb. 20.

On Monday, detectives charged White with sexual battery. He was taken into custody at the Forsyth County Detention Center without incident.

White received a $2,500 unsecured bond and a court date of May 28.

White was employed as a sworn officer by the Winston-Salem Police Department from January of 2005 to August of 2017, at which time he resigned for other employment. He then returned to employment with the Winston-Salem Police Department in July of 2019. White is no longer employed with the police department.

Police Chief Catrina Thompson released the following statement:

Good morning Winston-Salem, it is with deep regret that I must inform you that my trust, as well as the trust of the citizens of Winston-Salem and the City of Winston-Salem Government, has been violated by former Police Officer Harry L. White III. In my commitment of transparency to you, I want to inform you of the circumstances that led to Mr. White’s separation from the Winston-Salem Police Department and his pending criminal charge.

On February 20, 2020 at 1:38 am, Winston-Salem Police Department Officer Harry L. White was on duty and in uniform and responded to a “911 Hang Up” call for service at the Best Western Plus University Inn, located at 3050 University Parkway. Approximately four minutes after Officer White cleared from the call for service, the Winston-Salem Police Department was notified of an allegation of a sexual assault by an adult female committed by Mr. White during the call for service.

Supervisors from my Patrol Division immediately responded to the hotel and based on the allegations, transitioned the investigation to Detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit of the Winston-Salem Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. Mr. White was placed on administrative leave and the criminal investigation has been on-going and active since February 20, 2020.

In consultation with the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office, our Detectives have criminally charged Mr. White with Sexual Battery. Earlier today Mr. White was taken into custody at the Forsyth County Detention Center without incident, and has separated from his employment with the City of Winston-Salem Police Department.

I must apologize to you for this behavior of one of my former personnel, but I will not tolerate this type of assault on one of our citizens by a Police Officer. Please rest assured that I hold our personnel to high standards, because I know that is what you expect of me and of your Police Officers.

Thank You for your continued support of your Winston-Salem Police Department and I, together with the leadership of the Police Department, apologize again to you for this breach of your trust.

Catrina A. Thompson, Chief of Police, Winston-Salem Police Department

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