Nuku'alofa Central Police Station. Photo/Kaniva Tonga News

A Tongatapu police officer has been charged with rape and indecent assault of a teenage girl while she was in police custody.

The 29-year-old officer has been suspended from duty.

He appeared in a Magistrate Court today Friday 2 and was remanded in custody.

In a statement released this afternoon, Police Commissioner Steve Caldwell said the alleged offences occurred  on Sunday while the 18- year-old young woman was in police custody.

“It was reported to Police on Tuesday 29 September and after a criminal investigation an arrest was made on Thursday 1 October 2020,” Caldwell said.

“The matter is also a subject of a separate Professional Standards investigation.

“Commissioner Caldwell suspended the police constable prior to his arrest.

“This matter is now before the Court and we wish to protect the privacy of this young woman and her family. Full victim support services to the young woman and her family have been put in place.”