An 18-year veteran of the Warren Police force remained jailed Tuesday following his arrest Monday on charges of rape and burglary.

Michael Edwards Jr. was booked into the Trumbull County Jail Monday, on two counts of rape and two counts of aggravated burglary with firearm specifications.

Despite the Aggravated Burglary charge, we're told that no break-in occurred during the incident.

He was arraigned on these charges Tuesday morning where he pled not guilty to all of these charges. Bond for Edwards has been set at $750,000 cash with the condition that he has no contact with the victim.

Edwards's attorneys had asked for a lesser bond, but the judge denied this request. 

According to Warren Municipal Court Records, the alleged incident that resulted in the two rape counts and one of the burglary counts took place on Friday, January 19, 2024. The other burglary count stems from an alleged incident five days earlier. The name or names of the alleged victims from both cases are sealed.

During a press conference Monday afternoon,  Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel said these alleged incidents occurred while Edwards was on duty. Merkel went on to say that 44-year-old Edwards had been terminated as of Monday. 

Chief Merkel tells 21 News the police department was made aware of the allegations on January 20. From there, BCI began investigating and around 1:00 p.m. the following Monday, Edwards was interviewed and subsequently arrested.

Merkel says this is believed to have been a one-time incident, but he encourages anyone who's had any similar experiences with Edwards to come forward. Merkel tells us the victim and the officer knew each other.

"It's not often you have a victim of this type of crime come forward to the police department and let them know that one of your officers may have allegedly committed this and we commend her for that," Merkel added.

Merkel does not believe Edwards's body-worn camera was turned on during the alleged incident.

"It's hard to put [my disappointment] into words. There's a ripple effect of what happens here between the officer, his family his children, the police department, it's just a total wreck," Merkel said. 

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin echoed Chief Merkel's disappointment.

"I can't begin to talk about how much effort has been put into making sure that we hire the brightest and the best [police officers] and give them all the training that they need. And we've worked tirelessly at trying to build public trust. Obviously, this is a chink against that effort," Mayor Franklin said.

Franklin went on to praise the Warren Police Department for their swift action once they learned of these allegations.

"The guys and women that we have working here are top-notch," Merkel said. "Occasionally, because we do recruit from the human race, people make bad decisions and all we can do on our end of it is take care of it as quickly and as swiftly as we can."

BCI is currently handling the investigation according to Chief Merkel.

Meanwhile, Edwards is due back in court Thursday February 8 at 10:15 for a preliminary hearing.

21 News has obtained Edwards' personnel file with the city, which is mostly comprised of training certificates and commendations from Prosecutor Dennis Watkins for his work on a number of high-profile murder cases. 

Also contained in the file are performance evaluations which paint a picture of a middle-of-the-road quality of work, scoring mostly 2's and 3's on a scale of 1-5. 

There are several previous disciplinary infractions, noted, as well. 

In 2012, Edwards was placed on paid administrative leave from July 2 to July 16, with no explanation provided. 

In 2015, Edwards was given a verbal reprimand for his conduct during a traffic stop where he was found to have violated department policy by telling a driver "if you can't handle driving in the city, you should go to the country."

Edwards received a written reprimand for failing to attend a court hearing in a drug case. When reached by phone by the prosecutor's office, Edwards told the prosecutor he would not be coming in because it was his wife's birthday. 

In 2019, Edwards was investigated by internal affairs for an incident in which, while checking on a possible trespassing complaint at Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority, Edwards "wrongfully detained" a woman in handcuffs in order to force her to provide information .

In 2022, Edwards was found to have violated departmental policy during an investigation into alleged misconduct by another officer. Edwards, who was a witness in that investigation, gave statements that were inconsistent with other accounts and then called off sick when he was scheduled to be interviewed about the inconsistencies. After a Sergeant asked about where Edwards was, Edwards sent the ranking officer a "disrespectful message," via text. 

For that incident, he was suspended for five days .