California Highway patrolman implicates other officers in nude photo scandal

UPI

MARTINEZ, Calif., Oct. 26 (UPI) —

A California Highway Patrol officer admitted he stole nude photos of women he arrested as part of a "game" he and other officers in the department played.




Sean Harrington, 35, of Martinez, Calif., is under investigation by the Contra Costa, Calif., district attorney’s office for a possible felony computer theft charge.




The investigation began after a 34-year-old San Ramon, Calif., woman complained that Harrington sent six photos of herself in a state of undress from her iPhone to his personal mobile phone. He did so, she said, while she was being booked into Martinez County Jail on Aug. 29 for a driving under the influence charge.




During questioning, Harrington admitted to sharing the photos of the San Ramon woman and did the same thing to other female arrestees a "half a dozen times in the last several years," court records obtained by the Contra Costa Times revealed.




Harrington, who has worked with the CHP for five years, said he sent the photos to fellow officer Robert Hazelwood.




CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said the allegations "anger and disgust" him.




"We expect the highest levels of integrity and moral strength from everyone in the California Highway Patrol, and there is no place in our organization for such behavior," he said.




Prosecutors said the behavior could lead to difficulty prosecuting "active and open investigations."




Harrington pulled over the woman for making an unsafe lane change on I-680 in San Ramon. She allegedly failed field sobriety tests and was booked into jail.




While using her iPad, which was synced to her phone, the alleged victim later discovered six photos had been sent from her phone to a cell phone number she didn’t recognize.




Authorities believe Harrington tried to delete evidence he sent the photos on her phone, not realizing there would still be evidence of the act on the iPad.




Harrington has been placed on desk duty during the investigation. The woman’s DUI case has since been dropped due to the investigation.




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