BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A former Baton Rouge police officer accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 2021 pled not guilty in court on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Former officer Donald Steele, Jr., 35, was indicted on charges of second-degree kidnapping and malfeasance in office on Wednesday, Aug. 24. He was terminated from the Baton Rouge Police Department on the same day.

The victim told investigators that Steele pulled her over during a traffic stop on June 23, 2021, and told her she was drinking and driving before saying he wasn’t going to ticket her because she was cute, according to arrest documents.

An affidavit said Steele told the victim to follow him to the airport but he instead led her to a warehouse near the Hollywood Casino. In this area, Steele allegedly sexually assaulted the victim and asked her personal questions.

On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Steele was arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of second-degree kidnapping, malfeasance in office, and misdemeanor sexual battery.

A motion hearing is set for Feb. 22.

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