DODGE CITY, Kan. (KAKE) - A former southwest Kansas police officer who was chosen as the state's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2021 now faces charges of rape and aggravated sexual battery. 

The Ford County attorney's office said a grand jury returned the indictment against Guillermo Gutierrez on October 4. His first appearance was scheduled for November 10.

The alleged incident occurred in Dodge City on May 19, but the county attorney's office did not provide details of the investigation. 

The Dodge City Globe reports Gutierrez had been an officer with the Dodge City Police Department since May of 2011. His employment with the city was separated on August 4.

In May of 2021, Gutierrez was chosen as the statewide Kansas Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, the Dodge City Police Department said. He was the first officer in southwest Kansas to receive the award. 

If convicted, Gutierrez could face between 147 and 653 months in prison for rape and between 31 and 136 months for sexual battery. 

The Ford County attorney's office provided the following statement regarding the grand jury:

In Kansas, a county attorney may request that the district court convene a grand jury to hear evidence and testimony and determine whether charges should be filed against a particular person. The grand jury is comprised of 15 jurors selected from the community in much the same way as individuals are selected to serve as jurors in civil or criminal trials. At least 12 of the 15 grand jurors must agree as to the charge or charges upon which a person should be indicted.

A grand jury does not decide whether a person is guilty or innocent of criminal charges. Instead, a grand jury decides whether sufficient probable cause exists to support the filing of charges and the commencement of a prosecution. The charges presented in a grand jury’s indictment are only allegations.

Gutierrez is presumed to be innocent of the charges alleged in the indictment.