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    Police-Fire Reports
    Sunday, April 21, 2024

    Former Old Lyme cop faces sex assault charges

    Former Old Saybrook and Old Lyme police officer Jay Rankin, who at one time was accused of making racist remarks to a homeless man, is now facing sexual assault charges.

    Rankin, 61, turned himself in to state police in Danielson on Monday to face charges related to an alleged sexual assault that occurred in July 2023 at the Little Pond Boat Launch in Thompson, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in a statement.

    DEEP did not release any details of what is alleged to have occurred at the boat launch. Because the alleged assault took place on state property, EnCon police performed the investigation. Rankin is charged with third-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault, public indecency, second-degree breach of peace and violation of regulations regarding activities in a boating access area. Third-degree sexual assault is a felony.

    Rankin was arraigned in Danielson Superior Court on Monday. Initially held on a $50,000 court-set bond, Rankin was released on a promise to appear in court. He is scheduled to return to court on April 8.

    Windham Judicial District Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Lou Luba said Rankin was arraigned in front of Danielson Superior Court Judge Ernest Green Jr. Rankin filed an application for accelerated rehabilitation, a pre-trial diversionary program that if approved allows a defendant to maintain a clean criminal record. Application into the program automatically seals a defendant’s records while the request is reviewed.

    Rankin, of 2 Wisteria Lane in Old Saybrook, retired as a master sergeant from the Old Saybrook Police Department in 2017 and went on to become a police officer in Old Lyme. In 2022, following an investigation by Old Saybrook police, he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor breach of peace following a complaint from a Black homeless man that Rankin had used the n-word during a confrontation outside the Old Saybrook Fire Department where Rankin served as a volunteer.

    Rankin, according to court documents, denied the allegation and claimed he used the word “freeloader,” and not the racial slur. State Judicial records show Rankin was not prosecuted in the breach of peace case.

    Rankin was on paid leave from the Old Lyme Police Department for nearly a year before he was allowed to retire under an agreement signed in 2022 with the town of Old Lyme.

    Rankin, when reached by phone on Monday, abruptly ended the call. It is unclear if he has legal representation.

    g.smith@theday.com