A 33-year-old serving Metropolitan cop denied raping a woman after meeting her during a stag event in Brighton last year.

Sergeant Laurence Knight, 33 is accused of raping the woman while he was off-duty on July 17, 2021, reported My London. Knight is said to have met the woman and her friend while drinking in the city centre. Then they walked to the beach together after which they stripped to their underwear. Then they entered the sea during the early hours of the morning where he allegedly raped her.

In connection with the case, he appeared Thursday at Southwark Crown Court wearing a navy suit. He spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and to deny one count of rape and one count of sexual assault, reported Mirror.

A previous hearing was told that the cop and the woman were not known to one another before the alleged assault.

Knight, who is attached to Met Detention, which is the force’s custody command, was arrested on July 28 last year. While the investigation is ongoing, Knight of Waltham Forest, east London, has been suspended from duties.

After his arrest, the Met Police made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) so that a misconduct probe could take place. It was determined by the IOPC that the investigation should be led by the Met.

Chief Superintendent Pete Gardner, who is in charge of Met Detention, said that they know that people will "rightly be concerned to hear about this very serious charge against a serving police officer." He noted that the force absolutely shares that "concern and I am thankful to Sussex Police for their thorough investigation." He added that the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards are "fully aware and misconduct matters will be dealt with once the criminal proceedings have concluded. The officer is suspended from duty.”

Judge Phillip Bartle QC bailed the officer ahead of his trial, which is estimated to last a week, according to Daily Mail. The cop was granted bail on condition that he does not contact the complainant. He will next appear at Southwark Crown Court on June 19, 2023.

Metropolitan Police Service
Police officers staff a cordon outside New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, as anti-lockdown protesters march against the ongoing coronavirus restrictions in central London on March 20, 2021. Photo by Niklas Halle'n/AFP via Getty Images