State trooper relieved of duty after indictment on sex assault charges

A state trooper was relieved of duty after being indicted on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman about four years ago, State Police said.

Trooper Jason M. Willard, 38, of Auburn is charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery and two counts of open and gross lewdness, State Police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement. The victim was about 18 at the time, he said.

Willard allegedly committed the crimes while he was off duty, Procopio said.

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“The defendant’s actions as alleged in the indictments are deeply disturbing,” he said. “The actions, as alleged, are diametrically opposed to the morals, values, and principles of the Massachusetts State Police.”

Willard was assigned to the Sturbridge barracks and joined the department in 2002, Procopio said. He was relieved of duty Thursday night.

He will be arraigned Sept. 21 in Worcester Superior Court, according to the Worcester district attorney’s office.

State Police will hold a hearing Monday about Willard’s duty status, Procopio said.

State Police seized Willard’s gun, cruiser, badge, and State Police identification when he was relieved of his duties, Procopio said.

The State Police internal affairs section will monitor the criminal prosecution against Willard and launch an internal investigation, Procopio said.

If Willard is found guilty, State Police will take “appropriate internal disciplinary action,” Procopio said.

Willard did not immediately return a message seeking comment.