A police officer appeared in court today charged with 'seeking to protect' an alleged sex attacker.
Sarah Nicola Cohen has been charged with committing an act or series of acts with the intent to pervert the course of public justice.
The charge states that between the 20th and 23rd of November 2011 at Petrockstowe, Devon, "with intent to pervert the course of public justice, did a series of acts, namely being aware of the complaint that X (a named man) had been involved in a serious sexual assault upon a girl, attempted to persuade her parents not to report the matter to the police, thereby protecting X from investigation and possible prosecution for the alleged offence, which had a tendency to pervert the course of justice".
The 36 year old Devon and Cornwall officer, of Lifton, Devon, is also charged with wilfully misconducting herself while the holder of a public office.
The charge states "between November 20th and 23rd 2011 at Okehampton and Petrockstowe, Devon, while acting as a police constable, wilfully and without reasonable excuse of justification misconducted yourself by failing to report an alleged sexual assault upon a girl and seeking to protect the alleged perpetrator X from investigation and possible prosecution".
Cohen appeared before Exeter magistrates court.
Her case was sent to the city's Crown Court for a hearing next month before a judge. She was granted bail.