A GWENT Police officer appeared in court today charged with sexual assault and misconduct in public office.

Sgt Richard Evans, 46, who address was given as The Highway, New Inn, appeared on bail before Cardiff Crown Court.

Evans faces is accused of several offences and a plea and case management hearing, where he will face precise charges, is to take place on April 24.

Judge David Wynn Morgan told the court that a trial was expected to open on August 18.

The court heard that the trial was expected to last six days.

Tracey Lloyd-Nesling represented the Crown Prosecution Service and Tim Evans spoke for the defendant at the hearing on Thursday.

Judge Wynn Morgan granted Evans unconditional bail.

A Gwent Police spokesman said: “Richard Evans, a serving Gwent Police officer from the Ystrad Mynach area has been charged with three counts of sexual assault and two of misconduct in public office.

He has been suspended from his post since January 2013.”

A spokeswoman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said: "In May 2013, the IPCC launched a managed investigation in to a Gwent Police officer. The investigation concerned allegations relating to sexual offences."