September 27, 1999 10:09pm
Naked Policeman Gets Suspended
(FAYETTEVILLE, TN) -- A police sergeant has been indicted on charges of being nude and exposing himself to the public while in his own home.
Sgt. Jeff Dorning was charged with six counts of public indecency and six counts of indecent exposure after fellow lawmen received complaints from five women and a child who claimed they saw the officer naked, according to the indictment.
Police Chief Doug Carver, who heads the 28-member department in this city of 7,300 located about 70 miles south of Nashville near the Alabama border, said Dorning was suspended without pay until the criminal charges against him are adjudicated. The officer could be fired if convicted, the chief said.
Carver told APBnews.com that the Lincoln County District Attorney's Office and the Tennessee Department of Investigation (TBI) conducted the investigation of Dorning. He said he could not provide further information on the case because the probe began before he became police chief in June.
A woman who answered the telephone at Dorning's Fayetteville home said he wasn't available for comment. Officials said that Dorning has been a police officer in the city for about 10 years.
Actions "offend" ordinary person
In the 12-count indictment issued Sept. 21, Lincoln County grand jurors charged that in February 1999, Dorning "intentionally exposed his genitals or buttocks" to the five women and a 13-year old child. The incidents occurred on Feb. 8, 10, 11 and 16, according to the indictment.
The grand jurors found that that Dorning's actions "would offend an ordinary viewing person or were for the purpose of his sexual arousal or gratification," the indictment said.
The indictment did not say where the alleged indecent acts occurred. However, a Fayetteville police officer with knowledge of the case said that the incidents took place in Dorning's home. It could not be determined whether the victims observed Dorning while looking inside his home.
W. Michael McCown, the district attorney general who presented the case to a grand jury, could not be reached for comment.
Free on bond
Mark Gwynn, spokesman for the TBI, said that it is routine for the bureau to become involved in investigating alleged wrongdoing by local police officers in order to make sure an independent agency looks at the case.
He refused to answer questions about the case.
The clerk's office at the Circuit Court of Lincoln County, where the indictment was filed, said Dorning had been released on $500 bond and the officer had not yet entered a plea to the charges.
Raymond Fraley, identified by local police as Dorning's attorney, was not in his office today and could not be reached for comment.
Tennessee law states that anyone convicted of public indecency or exposure on the first or second offense faces a $500 fine and a third offense could result in a $1,500 fine, a prison term of about a year, or both.