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Norton police officer in court on rape charge

4/22/2011

By The Hays Daily News

By The Hays Daily News

NORTON -- A Norton police officer was arrested Thursday on two counts of alleged rape, according to a press release from the Norton County attorney's office.

Ryan L. Zweygardt, 27, was scheduled to make his first appearance in Norton County District Court today. A preliminary hearing tentatively has been scheduled for May 6. Bond was set at $500,000.

County Attorney Doug Sebelius said this morning the alleged incident was reported to law enforcement April 11.

"Shortly after that, the police chief had placed (Zweygardt) on suspension," Sebelius said.

He was unsure if Zweygardt's status with the department had changed since his arrest. He has been with the Norton police for less than a year.

The Norton County sheriff's department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation.

Sebelius said Zweygardt was not on duty when the alleged incidents occurred. They were brought to law enforcement's attention by the victim, an adult female, and by her seeking medical attention, Sebelius said.

Zweygardt is being held in Graham County jail, due to renovations taking place in the Norton County Sheriff's department.