SARASOTA, Fla. - North Port Police officer Melanie Turner appeared in an orange jumpsuit at the Sarasota County Jail Friday.
She faces charges of being a principal to sexual battery and false imprisonment at a party in North Port earlier this month. Another officer under investigation for the same incident took his own life Thursday.
After hearing from her legal council and the attorney for the state, Circuit Judge Rochelle Curley set Officer Turner’s bond at $200,000.
Turner is a former Military Police officer and the mother of two children. According to sources following the investigation, Turner has had disciplinary problems in the past, including an inappropriate relationship with a supervisor, and is accused of handcuffing and threatening a woman who was also having a relationship with that supervisor.
Turner's lawyer, Diane Morton out of Pinellas County, is out of the country, so attorney Eric Reisinger filled in to represent Turner at Friday's hearing.
“The charges and allegations are serious, however once the defense does its own investigation and present our own side, the charges I don't think are going to stick and the truth will come out,” said Reinger.
According to a report by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, on March 2nd, off-duty officer Turner was attending the party and invited on-duty officer Ricky Urbina, who was unknown by the victim, to the party. Witnesses say that Urbina handcuffed the victim and he and Turner took her into a bedroom and locked the door. That's when reports say the officers allegedly performed forced sex acts on the victim.