Phillipsburg officer resigned after Vandalia arrest, release

A Phillipsburg police officer arrested in Vandalia and released from jail without charges has resigned from the department, the Phillipsburg law director said today.

Justin Sanderson, 32, was booked into jail Thursday night by Vandalia police for allegedly raping two women at a Vandalia Knights Inn hotel last month, but he was released after the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said further investigation is needed.

Sanderson is not currently facing criminal charges. This news outlet is attempting to reach Sanderson and will update our coverage then.

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Several Phillipsburg officials declined to comment further, including law director Jason Treherne, Police Chief Mark Wysong and Mayor Cheryl Crabtree.

This newsroom has filed a public records request with Phillipsburg for a copy of Sanderson’s letter of resignation and other personnel records.

Vandalia Police Lt. Kurt Althouse said there are no new developments in the case.

“Our investigators are working with the prosecutor’s office in gathering evidence to proceed forward in the investigation,” Althouse said. “There’s some evidence that will be sent to the crime lab and analyzed.”

Althouse said officials in Phillipsburg have cooperated with the investigation.

According to a Vandalia police report, two women went to the Knights Inn on Poe Ave. in Vandalia June 28 to meet with an adult male with whom they agreed to have sex.

The report alleges Sanderson, in uniform, went into the room using a key card and forced himself upon the women.

Previously, Althouse said his detectives were already looking at Sanderson as a possible suspect when on Thursday night a Vandalia officer on patrol found a Phillipsburg police cruiser in the parking lot of the Knights Inn. Althouse said his officer approached Sanderson arrested him.

Althouse said officers from other jurisdictions entering other jurisdictions for an investigation would traditionally notify the jurisdiction of their investigation.

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