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Cobb officer used mentally disabled woman to solicit her niece for sex, cops say

A Cobb County police officer accused of choking and slapping a mentally disabled woman during sex faces new charges involving the woman’s 12-year-old niece, according to police. 

In sexually explicit text messages between May 31 and June 12, Robert Lanier New repeatedly attempted to solicit the woman and her niece for sex, according to the warrant obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. New, 46, now faces criminal solicitation and computer pornography charges. 

The latest allegations come two days after New was arrested on charges he assaulted the 44-year-old woman, who has the mental capacity of a 10- to 14-year-old.

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

New was charged with felony aggravated assault-strangulation and misdemeanor simple battery in connection with the alleged abuse. 

Police believe New was using the woman to try to get to her niece, Cobb police Officer Sarah O’Hara told The AJC. New met the woman online, but police are still investigating which website the two used. 

According to an arrest warrant obtained Tuesday by The AJC, 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. New was off duty at the time. 

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.

At a news conference Tuesday, Cobb County police Chief Mike Register said police believed the woman was the only victim in the case. 

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

New is also being investigated for an administrative complaint filed with the department. Register said that complaint was not criminal, but involves another woman.

“We are investigating if he adhered to departmental policies,” Register said. The complaint was filed weeks before the first allegations emerged against New. 

O’Hara said she could not speak about the specifics of the investigation, but said the complaint “could be in relation to anything from how an officer drives to his response to a call.”

New, who was placed on administrative leave without pay after his arrest, has been with the department since February 2005.

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