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Veteran Richmond police officer arrested for child sex crimes

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A longtime Richmond police officer was arrested Wednesday morning on sexual assault charges.

Officials said 39-year-old Charles Church, of the 1400 block of W. Marshall Street, was charged with two felony counts of sodomy of a juvenile for an alleged sexual assault that happened Monday.

Officials said that the department learned of the allegations Tuesday evening.

"After a brief investigation, detectives took Church into custody this morning near his residence," Richmond Police spokesman Gene Lepley said. "Both the incident and the arrest occurred while he was off-duty."

Charles Church, who has most recently assigned to Third Precinct, has been on the force for 12 years.

“It is unfortunate to have to arrest one of our fellow officers,” RPD Chief Alfred Durham said in a news release. “But it is our job to enforce the law and bring those responsible for committing criminal acts to justice even if it’s one of my own.”

Church has been placed on administrative leave without pay while the investigation continues.