A POLICE officer is to appear in court accused of committing a sexual assault while off duty.

The 36-year-old serving officer is accused of indecent assault and assault by beating.

The charges relate to an incident which is alleged to have happened in Ashley Road, Parkstone, on September 21.

The Daily Echo revealed last Saturday that two officers had been arrested over the incident, which was alleged to have happened in the early hours of the morning.

Both men were initially questioned and released on bail.

Dorset Police revealed last night that one of the men has now been charged.

The other officer, a 28-year-old man who was also off duty, has been released without charge, police confirmed.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “The arrested 36-year-old man has been charged with indecent assault and assault by beating.

“The man, a serving police officer who was off duty at the time of the incident, has been bailed to appear before Bournemouth Magistrates on November 27. A 28-year-old man, also a serving police officer and also off duty, was also arrested. He has been released without charge.”

Dorset Police had not initially referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, as forces sometimes do with charges relating to serving officers.

But last night a spokesman confirmed the matter has now been referred to the commission for consideration.