Cobb officer accused of slapping, choking mentally disabled woman during sex

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Officer Robert Lanier New was arrested Monday on felony charges of aggravated assault-strangulation and misdemeanor simple battery.

A Cobb County police officer accused of slapping and choking a 44-year-old woman — who has the mental capacity of a 10- to 14-year-old — during sex is also being investigated for an administrative complaint filed with the department, police Chief Mike Register said at a news conference Tuesday.

Register revealed few details about the complaint filed against Officer Robert Lanier New, but he confirmed that Cobb police began their investigation, which also involves a woman, a few weeks ago.

“There was nothing criminal about the complaint,” Register said. “... We are investigating if he adhered to departmental policies.”

New remained in the Cobb County jail without bond following his arrest late Monday. New, 46, faces charges of felony aggravated assault-strangulation and misdemeanor simple battery in connection with the alleged abuse.

He has been with the department since February 2005 and most recently worked in the patrol unit. He is on administrative leave without pay.

Investigators learned about the “disturbing” assault June 16 during a forensic interview with the woman, Register said. Police believe the two met online but are still investigating which website was used.

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During a news conference Tuesday, Cobb County police Chief Mike Register confirmed the department was investigating Officer Robert Lanier New regarding an administrative complaint filed against him. New was arrested Monday on allegations he abused a mentally disabled woman. RAISA HABERSHAM / RAISA.HABERSHAM@AJC.COM

During a news conference Tuesday, Cobb County police Chief Mike Register confirmed the department was investigating Officer Robert Lanier New regarding an administrative complaint filed against him. New was arrested Monday on allegations he abused a mentally disabled woman. RAISA HABERSHAM / RAISA.HABERSHAM@AJC.COM

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During a news conference Tuesday, Cobb County police Chief Mike Register confirmed the department was investigating Officer Robert Lanier New regarding an administrative complaint filed against him. New was arrested Monday on allegations he abused a mentally disabled woman. RAISA HABERSHAM / RAISA.HABERSHAM@AJC.COM

According to an arrest warrant obtained Tuesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New choked the woman and slapped both sides of her face during sex to the point she cried. The woman told officers that with New’s hands around her throat, she wasn’t able to tell him to stop, the warrant alleges.

The incident happened sometime between March 1 and March 31 at his home on Hawkins Store Road in Kennesaw, according to police.

During her interview, the woman was reportedly “shaking due to fear,” police said.

The victim’s allegations were corroborated through text messages on her phone, according to the warrant.

“The accused made the statements through text messages, ‘I am in charge, I am in control,’” police said. The threatening messages allegedly continued even after the victim attempted to distance herself from New, as recently as March 31.

Police believe the woman is the only victim in the case.

“The investigation is still fluid, and we are working this case as we speak,” Register said.

In an exclusive interview with Channel 2 Action News, New’s father said his son has been a police officer for 25 years.

“He’s helped people out and lots of people care for him,” Aubrey New told the news station. “He may have made a mistake, but I don’t see that as being so.”