|Sean M. Horn|
Rape charge: County cop arrested and media blocked
A former law enforcement officer and current reserve deputy with the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office was arrested on a rape charge Thursday night, according to the Albemarle County Police Department.
Sean M. Horn, who has been employed by both the Albemarle County police and the University of Virginia Police Department, is currently being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, police said. During his time with the county police, Horn was stationed as a school resource officer at Burley Middle School, according to police and school officials.
The rape charge was not related to Horn’s duties as a law enforcement officer, said county police Sgt. Darrell Byers.
Albemarle County Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding said in an interview that he delivered a letter to the circuit court clerk this morning that decommissioned Horn as a reserve deputy. Harding said Horn came to his office with a good background, and he cautioned against jumping to conclusions before more facts are known.
“I’ve become aware of a little bit of the allegations,” Harding said. “And all I would ask ... is that we keep Sean and his family and all the others that are impacted by this event in our prayers. I would ask that we all give our justice system ... ample time to work through this and let all the facts come out until we reach a final conclusion.”
Horn was sworn in as a reserve deputy in May of 2011, Harding said, adding that Horn had recently received an MBA and was contributing to strategic planning and fundraising efforts.
“I’m certainly sorry it happened. I was quite shocked,” Harding said. “His background is good. He’s got a long career in law enforcement and he’s highly educated. I’m kind of anxious for this to come to fruition ... there’s a big difference between being charged with something and being convicted of something.”
Byers said Horn was last employed by Albemarle police in February of 2010, but he could not immediately provide a start date.
A bond hearing for Horn will take place at 1:30 p.m. today in Albemarle County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, according to officials.
Byers said he could not provide further details about the charge against Horn, but he added that rapes and sexual assaults are underreported and encouraged victims to contact police regardless of who the perpetrator might be.