VPD officer cleared

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 4, 2010

VIDALIA — After two months on paid administrative leave, the Vidalia officer accused of sexual misconduct has been cleared and placed back on active duty.

In February, Genva Coates, 29, of Ridgecrest, filed a report against Vidalia Police Officer Lt. Terence Williams, 39, accusing him of sexual misconduct against her at the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Police Chief Ronnie G. “Tapper” Hendricks said.

The investigation of the matter was turned over to the Louisiana State Police, and Friday Hendricks received a report from the LSP clearing the officer, he said.

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“(Williams) started back this weekend as soon as I got the papers,” Hendricks said.

The police chief said the matter was handled according to Vidalia police policy, and that Williams is an important part of the Vidalia police organization.

“The state police looked into it thoroughly and competently,” Hendricks said. “Officer Williams was exonerated and the case was closed.

During the course of the investigation, Coates reportedly withdrew her initial accusation against the officer.

“Sometime during her report, she kept saying she was intoxicated, and the hospital records did indicate that,” Hendricks said. “She didn’t know if it was a dream or if anything was factual to it. That was her excuse as far as recanting her statement.”

The police chief said he has asked if charges of false filing will be leveled against the accuser, but that he has not yet received an answer.

Coates has reportedly left the state, Hendricks said.