PC charged with 2001 rape

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A policeman has been charged with raping a woman nine years ago.

Pc Nicholas Stone, 40, is also accused of three counts of misconduct in a public office relating to his time with Devon and Cornwall Police.

The officer has been suspended from his current job with Avon and Somerset Police while the case goes through the courts, a spokeswoman for the force said.

Pc Stone, of Pitminster near Taunton, Somerset, is alleged to have raped a woman in Tiverton, Devon, between June 1 and July 31 2001.

He is also charged with three counts of misconduct while serving with Devon and Cornwall Police in 1999.

A hearing at Exeter Magistrates' Court yesterday was adjourned until September 3, a court spokeswoman said.

Pc Stone reportedly received a chief constable's commendation in 2003 for his good police work.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: "He was a Devon and Cornwall officer at the time of the alleged offences. I cannot comment further until the conclusion of criminal proceedings."

Avon and Somerset Police said it would carry out an internal investigation. Any disciplinary action will come after the end of the criminal case.