NewsCrime

Actions

Former Johnson County sheriff's deputy charged with rape, aggravated sodomy

chad edward jennings.jpg
Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 00:19:36-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy was charged Thursday with rape and aggravated sodomy.

The incident occurred on May 1, 2020, while Chad Edward Jennings was still an employee of the sheriff’s office.

As of June 26, 2020, Jennings was no longer an employee of the department. However, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office declined to clarify Thursday night whether he was terminated or voluntarily left at that time.

News of the charges came as an immense relief to the woman who accused Jennings of rape.

The 41 Action News I-Team has been speaking with her and gathering information about this case for several months.

Because she is a victim of a sexual assault, 41 Action News will not share her name or show her face. For the purposes of this story, we'll call her "Sarah."

As a nurse midwife who's trained as a sexual assault nurse examiner, Sarah never thought she would find herself in this situation.

"I think my perception was, had I ever found myself in a case, that I had been well-trained enough to recognize the pattern of shame that occurs immediately after something happens," she said.

However, Sarah said trauma blinded her from processing the events of May 1, 2020, when she alleges she was raped by a man both she and her fiance knew.

"I really only blamed myself without recognition that this is a pattern that women go through when they are sexually assaulted by an acquaintance," she said.

After talking to a therapist, Sarah decided to tell her fiance what happened. It was 10 days later.

"I said, 'You need to report this. It doesn't matter who it was, it could have been a stranger... You need to report this," her fiance, who was also once a Johnson County Sheriff's Deputy, told 41 Action News.

Sarah said she reported the rape to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office on May 11, 2020. The Olathe Police Department conducted the investigation, and the case file went to the Johnson County District Attorney's Office in early June 2020.

Sarah told the I-Team she heard nothing from the DA’s office after the file was turned over last June.

“I knew it was going to be, 'He said, she said,’ but I felt strongly a report needed to be made,” she said, “Because sexual predators will repeat their crime, and I wanted a report there in case this ever happened to another individual.”

Nearly one year later, the 41 Action News I-Team reached out to the DA's office to find out if charges were pending or the case was closed.

Sarah said an attorney with the DA's office contacted her after 41 Action News became involved.

These charges come two weeks after the I-Team first made contact with the DA's office.

"This is our opportunity for this story to be told, and I have an opportunity to tell this story that a vast majority of sexual assault victims don't have," she said, "And I didn't want it to go unheard because I know I'm not the only one who experiences this."

Jennings was booked into the Johnson County Detention Center on $100,000 bond. He bonded out Thursday night.

The I-Team tried calling him at the jail Thursday night, but was not able to speak with him. Once he was released, the I-Team called two cell phone numbers listed for Jennings, but the messages were not returned. As of Thursday night, no attorney was listed for Jennings in court records.

His first court appearance is set for July 1.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the 41 Action News Mug Shot Policy.