Former Gateway Chief Pleads Not Guilty To Decades Old Rape Charge

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A former Benton County police chief convicted of murder pleaded not guilty Monday (April 2) to raping a Rogers teacher more than 20 years ago.

Grand Hardin, 48, is charged with three counts of rape and one count each of kidnapping and sexual abuse in connection with the rape of a elementary teacher in 1997.

Hardin, who served as Gateway police chief, was sentenced last fall to 30 years in prison for killing James Appleton. Hardin shot Appleton after pulling up beside him in Garfield and shooting him through his car window.

In February, Rogers police announced they matched DNA submitted for Hardin’s murder to DNA taken from clothing found after the rape.

Hardin was being held Monday (April 2) at the Benton County Jail on a $250,000 bond. His next hearing is set for May 21 in Benton County Circuit Court.

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