Former Laurel cop charged with rape

Delaware State Police have charged a former Laurel police officer with rape and 10 counts of sexual extortion.

Crimes, State Police detectives say, Kevin Hovatter committed while on duty.  Laurel Police Chief Michael Wilson says the 32-year-old was an officer with the department from August 2002 to July 2006, when he resigned. Although, Wilson says the wheels were already in motion to fire Hovatter from the force.

“To be perfectly honest, we have not seen him or had any dealings with him since his departure from the department,” said Chief Wilson.

The investigation into the 32-year-old was launched after the Delaware Department of Justice and Laurel Police Department received an anonymous tip in January, according to police.

Police say the joint investigation revealed one incident occurred some time between 2003 and 2004 when Hovatter responded to a domestic call. Hovatter brought a 28-year-old Millsboro woman and her boyfriend back to the Laurel police station and allegedly touched her inappropriately in the processing room

Detectives say the victim also met Hovatter multiple times afterwards, for fear of being arrested and sent to jail if she refused. The pair met on commercial business properties located in the 100 block of West 10th Street in Laurel, where Hovatter is, again, accused of committiing “inappropriate acts” on the victim.

This isn’t Hovatter’s first run in with the law.  A month before he resigned from Laurel Police, he was charged back in June 2006, for an incident said to have occurred March 25, 2006.  State Police say Hovatter stopped a car on U.S. 13 near Delmar, outside Laurel’s city limits.  Hovatter allegedly ordered a 55-year-old passenger in the car to enter his patrol vechicle.  Detectives say Hovatter then drove the victim to a rural area and “committed an inappropriate act” against the victim, while on duty.

Hovatter was charged with two counts of rape, coercion, official misconduct and unlawful sexual contact. Hovatter has been a Delaware registered sex offender since June 2007.

Delaware State Police arrested Hovatter yesterday for rape and sexual extortion at his current job on a chicken farm in Laurel without incident. He remains behind bars at Sussex Correctional Institute on $40 thousand secured bond.

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