The Central Community Development Center of Fresno is a homeless outreach center and church many people rely on. But Fresno Police believe the reverend that runs the center, is causing more harm than good. Donald Lockhart was arrested on suspicion of rape, Wednesday. Sgt. Nina Jacobs explains, "Our detectives responded for some follow up investigation on July 18th for a woman being sexually assaulted. Donald Lockhart was the suspect in that. We've done so far a two day investigation and he was arrested on those charges yesterday."
The woman told police the assault happened inside the outreach center. Lockhart was booked into the county jail on four offenses related to sexual assault. Lockhart posted bond and was released from jail, Wednesday night. He said, "It's false, I don't know what else to say. This is retaliatory. This is payback for trying to stand up for what's right."
Lockhart says he's being targeted by Fresno Police because he filed a writ of mandamus claiming the department is not doing its job. He says he was assaulted by one of his tenants. He filed a restraining order on the person, but claims police never enforced it. Gregory Hopkins was the person Lockhart filed the restraining order against. Hopkins says Lockhart is nothing but trouble.
"He jumped off the porch came across the street and the only thing that saved me after he got off one shot was he stepped off the curb and the gun went down and I ran. The second shot barely missed me," Hopkins said.
Lockhart says all of the allegations are part of a campaign.
"The goal is basically to put me out of business. There are people who don't really want homeless people in that part of town," said Lockhart.
Despite all of this, Lockhart says there will still be a Sunday service this week.
The Fresno Police Department says it is not targeting Lockhart. They say they are just doing their job, following up on the offenses against him. The investigation is still ongoing. Police believe there could be other rape victims. Anyone with information is being asked to call the Fresno Police Department.