Hearing Set For Former Northwest Arkansas Police Chief On Rape Charge

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for a former northwest Arkansas police chief who has pleaded guilty to murder and now faces rape charges in a more than 20-year-old case.

Former Gateway Police Chief Grant Hardin has pleaded not guilty to the 1997 rape of a Rogers teacher in the teacher's lounge of an elementary school.

The woman went to the school on a Sunday morning to prepare her class lessons when she said she was attacked by a man with a gun wearing a stocking cap and sunglasses.

The rape went unsolved until after Grant pleaded guilty in 2017 to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the fatal shooting of James Appleton in Gateway, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.

Prosecutors say DNA then linked him to the rape.

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