A former lieutenant from the Memphis Police Department charged with the rape of a 15-year-old girl has entered a guilty plea.
Jeffrey Jones, 55, was indicted in November 2019 and charged with rape and sexual battery by an authority figure. Those charges were dropped May 4 of this year after he pleaded guilty to statutory rape.
Jones was given a $75,000 bail when he was booked in 2019, and posted that the same day. He has been on pretrial release for the last four years.
The victim was reported to be a daughter of one of Jones' acquaintances, and the Shelby County District Attorney's Office said in 2019 the rape occurred at an Arlington residence sometime between December of 2018 and May 2019.
Jones was placed on leave after the indictment was handed down, and an internal investigation opened, according to then-MPD director Michael Rallings, who called the charges "appalling." Jones had been with the department since 1997.
"These accusations are also the subject of an active internal investigation with the Memphis Police Department’s Inspectional Services. The allegations against Jones are, in no part, a reflection of the dedicated and hardworking women and men of the Memphis Police Department,” Rallings said at the time.
Jones was fired from the department about a year after being indicted, in November 2020.
A trial for Jones was set for May 15, but that was reset. He is next due in court June 5 to hear a petition to suspend his sentence.
Lucas Finton is a criminal justice reporter with The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at Lucas.Finton@commercialappeal.com and followed on Twitter @LucasFinton.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Jeffrey Jones, ex-Memphis Police lieutenant, pleads guilty to 2019 rape