Two charged, including former West Blocton Police Chief, in January sexual assault

Crime

Craig Baird Arnold, 49, and Brain Keith Whatley, 50, are both facing charges in connection with a January sexual assault out of Tuscaloosa (Tuscaloosa County Jail)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Two men, including a former West Blocton Police Chief, were arrested and charged in connection with a sexual assault case on Tuesday, according to the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.

Captain Jack Kennedy, with the Violent Crimes Unit, said the sexual assault was first reported to Tuscaloosa Police in January 2021. The victim said two men she was familiar with sexually assaulted her while she was under the influence and unable to consent. The case was presented to a grand jury, who later returned indictments.

As a result, 49-year-old Craig Baird Arnold and 50-year-old Brain Keith Whatley were both charged and placed in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Tuesday.

Arnold, who Kennedy said was at one point an uncertified reserve officer with West Blocton Police, is charged with first degree rape and is being held on $60,000 bond. Kennedy added Arnold was previously charged with sex offenses out of Bibb County in March 2016.

Whatley, who was at one point the West Blocton Police Chief, is charged with first degree sex abuse and was released on $5,000 bond.

Kennedy said neither Arnold or Whatley are currently employed in law enforcement, and any position or role that once had was not a factor in the alleged sexual assault.

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