After all the scandals in recent news regarding nude selfies saved on phones, you would think most young women would heed the warnings.
In Martinez, California, three officers are being investigated for taking advantage of young women held on drunk driving charges. The officers confessed to what they called a “game,” where one officer sent nude or racy photos from the phones of women being held on drunk driving charges to his fellow officers.
Thirty-five year old officer Sean Harrington confessed to playing this “game” over a period of several years. Harrington, who has been a member of the California Highway Patrol for five years, is now being assigned to administrative duties pending the investigation. The “game” was brought to light when a 23-year-old woman was arrested on August 29 on drunk driving charges. Her blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit. After being released, the woman discovered that nude photos of herself had been sent to numbers she didn’t know…while she was locked away.
A 19-year-old woman, also arrested on drunk driving charges, came forward with almost the same story. She noticed pictures of herself in a bikini had been sent to unknown numbers while she was in jail, with one number responding asking if there were any nude pics on the phone, and another number responding “Nice,” with a message sent from her phone asking that the favor be returned “down the road, buddy.”
Chief Avery Browne of CHP’s Golden Gate Division said something similar had happened in Los Angeles in 2012. The officers in that case were fired and one quit during the investigation.
The other officers involved with Officer Harrington’s “game” were Robert Hazelwood and Dion Simmons. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow says the agency’s investigation is ongoing and that the allegations against the officers in this case anger and disgust him.
Conta Costa County prosecutors are pushing for criminal charges including felony computer theft.
The 23-year-old woman, who wished to remain unnamed, hired attorney Rick Madsen. In a statement to local reporters, Madsen said,
“It’s going to lead to another level of mistrust and skepticism to the motive of law enforcement in general.”