Officer facing assault charge in Hinsdale

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W. Rodney Maloney, 46, of 62 Holmes Road in Hinsdale, was arraigned yesterday in Central Berkshire District Court on one charge of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14. He pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance and ordered not to have contact with the 50-year-old victim.

The charge, brought against Maloney in early June 2008, stemmed from an event that took place in 2005, according to a report filed by Massachusetts state police investigators.

The victim told investigators that she had made a call to the Hinsdale Police Department about a fisher cat that she had seen around her residence. Maloney, who was acting as the town's animal control officer, responded to the call in uniform, and after looking for the fisher cat, he allegedly asked the victim if she was single and "lonely." Maloney then asked the victim "if she would like to be taken care of like she had never been taken care of before," and he allegedly grabbed her hand and rubbed it on the outside of his pants, according to the statement.

The victim said she was too ashamed to press charges three years ago, when the assault allegedly took place, adding that she felt no one would believe her, according to the report.

The report also details other unwelcome sexual comments Maloney allegedly made over the past few years to other women, although no other charges have been filed.

Maloney was suspended from the department without pay on June 6, 2008, according to Hinsdale Police Chief Christopher Powell. Hinsdale's Board of Selectmen, the governing body that appoints the town's animal control officer, suspended Maloney without pay from his duties on July 17.

Powell expressed his dismay at the charges, adding that he felt sorry for the victim if the allegations were true.

"I'd hate to see anyone go through this," Powell said in a telephone conversation last night.

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Powell added that Maloney, who had been a Hinsdale officer since 2003, had been "a good cop."

"If he wasn't, he wouldn't have been working for me," Powell said. "He'll have his day in court."

In a written statement made to the State Police Detective Unit on July 23, Maloney denied all of the accusations, described his life as "an open book," and added that he would be willing to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence.

If convicted, Maloney could face up to five years in state prison.

In October 2006, five former Hinsdale police officers involved in a false pay slip scheme hatched by former Chief Mark A. Green pleaded guilty to issuing false written reports by a public officer.

In August 2006, a former Hinsdale police officer pleaded guilty to stealing a police cruiser and a defibrillator from Pittsfield to give to Hinsdale.

Judge Rita Koenig set Maloney's pretrial hearing date at 2 p.m. on Jan. 20.

To reach Jessica Willis: jwillis@berkshireeagle.com, (413) 528-3660.


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