Memphis police officer charged with solicitation of a minor
Memphis police officer Derrick Abdul-Wakil is due in court Monday after he was accused of masturbating in front a 14-year-old girl that he gave a ride to in his police car.
Police chief charged with menacing, covering up assault
PUT-IN-BAY – The village police chief was charged Friday with threatening one of his officers with a gun in 2012 and covering up allegations that a Put-in-Bay police cadet was raped in 2003.
Put-in-Bay Police Chief Robert "Ric" Lampela, 53, also was charged with lying to Ottawa County Sheriff's Office officials while they were investigating those allegations.
Lampela faces one count of aggravated menacing, one count of dereliction of duty and two counts of falsification. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of one year and nine months in jail.
A summons was issued for Lampela to attend a court hearing March 25 in Ottawa County Municipal Court.
Lampela and Mayor Margaret Scarpelli were not available for comment. It is not clear whether Lampela is currently running the department.
The police department deferred comment on Friday to the village's legal counsel, George C. Wilber of Port Clinton. Wilber was not available.
Village Councilman Jeff Koehler said he was unaware of the charges but said despite being misdemeanors, they are serious for a police chief.
"Anything in this capacity of alleged wrongdoing usually results in a suspension," Koehler said.
Put-in-Bay Village Council meets at 9 a.m. March 9, and Lampela's status could be discussed then.
The sheriff's office began investigating Put-in-Bay police in August after it received multiple complaints about officers' conduct. Sheriff Steve Levorchick asked the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, an arm of the Ohio Attorney General's Office, to assist during the process.
No other officers were charged, and unless authorities receive new evidence, no more charges will be filed, said Dan Tierney, Ohio attorney general's spokesman.
Put-in-Bay police officers' actions fell far short of what was expected, wrote Margaret Tamaro, special prosecutor for the Ohio Attorney General's Office in her report on the case. Criminal charges were not levied because nothing improper occurred; citing unprofessional conduct is not a crime, she wrote.
There was a flagrant violation of local policy because locals made complaints to Scarpelli instead of the police because they felt the police would not treat them fairly.
"There appeared to be a pattern of inconsistency in the enforcement of the laws at Put-in-Bay, and disparate treatment of individuals," Tomaro wrote.
She recommended proper leadership and training to prevent further unprofessional conduct from occurring.
The department, located on South Bass Island, utilizes a large number of young first-time officers during the spring and summer months to account for a large increase in the summer tourism population.
The menacing charge against Lampela resulted after allegations were made that Lampela brandished a firearm at Put-in-Bay Police Officer Jeff Herald while the two discussed the Bill of Rights. A nearby officer unstrapped his duty holster, ready to draw his gun due to concern for Herald's safety, according to Tomaro's report.
Lampela was charged with dereliction of duty because authorities allege he refused to allow a police report to be filed in 2003 after two Put-in-Bay officers were accused of sexually assaulting a police cadet at an employee dorm on South Bass Island. Authorities allege Lampela ignored the assault allegations to prevent negative publicity for the police department.
The falsification charges resulted after he told investigators that two people — whose initials are listed in the report — never officially reported the sexual assault to him.
Put-in-Bay Resort owner Mark Mathys, who has publicly stated he feels his businesses and employees have been unfairly targeted by Put-in-Bay police, said he was relieved the investigation was over and was happy the sheriff treated it with respect.
Three of Mathys' employees were arrested in September 2013 in what he called a "wholly unjustified" violation of civil rights during an incident at the resort. The case against one employee was dropped, and the other two were acquitted at trial.
"I'm glad for the people up there. Now the healing can begin," Mathys said. "I'm very thankful for the sheriff. He did a great job."
Charges against Put-in-Bay Police Chief Ric Lampela
• One count of aggravated menacing: He is charged with threatening one of his officers with a gun in 2012.
• One county of dereliction of duty: He is charged with not allowing a police report to be filed regarding allegations that two Put-in-Bay police officers raped a police cadet in 2003.
• Two counts of falsification: He is charged with lying to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office when he said that two people did not officially report the sexual assault.
More accusations against Palm Beach Shores police officer
By Ari Hait
Officer has been on paid leave since March 2014
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. —More details are emerging about a rape accusation made against a Palm Beach Shores police officer.
Charles Hoeffer has been on administrative leave with pay since March of 2014. That's when a blind woman in Riviera Beach accused the officer of raping her twice in two months.
WPBF 25 News has obtained a copy of the police report regarding those accusations.
The report said the victim knew Hoeffer and allowed him to come inside her apartment but tried to fight off his sexual advances.
"The victim stated Hoeffer stood over her and pried her legs apart with his knees," the report said. "During the incident, the victim was telling Hoeffer, stop, no, no, and tried to push him away."
The victim told police Hoeffer raped her again a month later.
According to the report, the victim then refused to speak further to investigators, saying talking about the incident was too stressful and gave her seizures.
No charges have been filed.
Hoeffer has been the subject of other investigations, as well.
In 2010, a woman accused him of making crude comments to her while responding to her complaint of domestic abuse. The woman said Hoeffer told her he wanted to see her in a thong.
"Sitting there having him tell me that, I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" the woman told investigators.
In 2012, a Palm Beach Shores dispatcher accused Hoeffer of sexual harassment.
In 2013, a Palm Beach Shores woman, Janice Martinetti, accused Hoeffer of sexually assaulting her.
"He was just rubbing my leg and pulling my dress up and asking to look at my panties and I just kept telling him to stop it," Martinetti told WPBF 25 News.
All three of these cases were investigated and ruled unsubstantiated.
Two other cases against Hoeffer remain open and are being investigated by the Palm Beach Shores police department.
Palm Beach Shores police said they cannot comment about the two open cases and cannot comment on how long those cases will take to investigate.
Arbitrator says Cleveland police officer who sexted crime victims, visited women on duty, should keep job
By Ryllie Danylko, Northeast Ohio Media Group
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- City officials fired police officer Vincent Lucarelli after the 12-year veteran admitted to "sexting" with crime victims and visiting women while on duty. But an arbitrator ordered the city to rehire him.
Mayor Frank Jackson on Friday said the arbitration process involved in punishing officers has been an obstacle in attempts to reform the department.
An arbitrator let Lucarelli keep his job after the officers admitted that he kissed and touched women inside a police car and tried to have relationships with a total of seven women -- six of whom were crime victims -- over five months in 2012.
The city appealed the arbitrator's ruling, according to records, and that case is still pending.
The incidents were brought to light during a criminal investigation into Brenda Bickerstaff, a private investigator who police accused of intimidating a witness. Eight thousand of that witness's text messages were subpoenaed -- including sexts exchanged between her and Lucarelli. From there, an internal affairs investigation linked six other women to Lucarelli.
The exchanges all took place between January and May 2012. Some of the alleged relationships went no further than "harmless flirting," while others turned sexual.
Lucarelli began texting one woman about a burglary she reported. These messages progressed into sexting. Lucarelli told her that he wanted to come to her house and have sex with her.
The officer started a sexual relationship with another woman three years after Cleveland police investigated a crime committed against her. Lucarelli admitted he visited the woman while on the clock and gave her money to support her children.
Investigators said all of the relationships were consensual, though one woman admitted she was intimidated by Lucarelli's advances.
The city cited the seriousness of Lucarelli's violations as justification for firing him. It also emphasized that this wasn't a one-time gaffe, but a clear pattern of behavior.
The city propped up its decision with additional rules Lucarelli broke, including when he took a side security job without the department's approval; that he failed to appear at a disciplinary hearing; and that he used a city vehicle to pick up his neighbor from her job in Beachwood.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association stood behind Lucarelli and argued that termination was too harsh, given that other officers who committed more serious violations were allowed to keep their jobs. The union also contended that none of Lucarelli's actions were illegal, nor did they compromise any criminal investigations.
Lucarelli blamed his misconduct on problems in his marriage, which caused him to spiral out of control. He said his "abandonment or loyalty issues" clouded his professional judgment.
Arbitrator Gary W. Spring in his decision reprimanded Lucarelli for his compulsive texting and negligence in doing his job. But he ultimately ruled that the officer deserved a "second and last chance."
Lucarelli was put on unpaid suspension until further notice. The arbitrator recommended a year of counseling for his marriage woes, his addiction to sexting and his "overzealous pursuit of sexual romance."
After the arbitrator's ruling in January 2013, Bickerstaff -- the private investigator whose criminal charges first linked Lucarelli to to these incidents -- sued the city, the police department and Lucarelli. That case is pending in federal court.
Bickerstaff's lawsuit says that not only did Lucarelli sext crime victims, but he also sent nude photos of at least two women to other police officers. She also accuses other officers of helping Lucarelli cover up an incident when he assaulted someone he was arresting.
In one of the text exchanges, Lucarelli said that he stole a pair of his girlfriend's underwear and placed them in the desk drawer of a fellow officer.
"I had her pick lace panties in (your) drawer, but you got sick so I took them back. That was gonna be funny," Lucarelli wrote.
"LOL, real funny..." the officer wrote in response.
A complaint accuses the city of failing to adequately investigate Lucarelli's misconduct, which according to her lawsuit is more egregious than what was outlined in the arbitration case.
Cop rapes: Did Palm Beach Shores and Riviera Beach fail to police their own?
Trust, once lost, is a hard thing to regain. Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz said as much in October 2014 while when announcing that one of his officers, Stephen Maiorino, had been arrested and charged with raping at gunpoint a stranded young woman whom he was supposed to have driven to the police department, after her friend was arrested on charges of driving under the influence.
Evidence corroborated the young woman’s account, though Maiorino’s attorney maintains the officer is not guilty. Katz responded exactly as a police chief should. He called a press conference to announce the officer’s arrest. He said he was “disturbed and disgusted.” He started working immediately to regain the community’s trust.
“Quite frankly, we are angry that any individual would squander the goodwill we have worked so hard to build within our community,” Katz said.
Maiorino has been in jail for months. That’s the kind of response the public expects when an official in a position of trust — there’s that word again — is accused of committing a serious crime.
Compare that to the treatment of Charles Hoeffer, who has continued wearing a badge year after year — in Palm Beach Shores, in Riviera Beach, in Delray Beach — even as allegations of violence against women emerged early in his career.
The Post’s Lawrence Mower discovered that Hoeffer has been accused of raping, assaulting or sexually harassing 11 women since 1983, including, most recently, a blind woman whom he is accused of raping in her home twice. He’s been on paid leave from his job at the town of Palm Beach Shores for nearly a year while the allegation is investigated. None of the allegations has have resulted in a criminal charge or a finding of guilt, as the victim is traumatized and won’t speak about the rape any longer.
His personnel files paint a disturbing portrait of shoddy investigations and shoddy hiring in Delray Beach, Riviera Beach and especially Palm Beach Shores. Time after time, Hoeffer beat allegations of rape and assault against an officer, and even workplace sexual harassment, yet and kept his pay and pension, public records showed.
Irresponsible investigative work helped. In 2010, a citizen went to Palm Beach Shores police to file a complaint about Hoeffer, who had been sent to provide protection as she sought help leaving a violent boyfriend, and instead made sexual overtures. He spotted the woman’s thong underwear in a plastic bag, according to her complaint, and allegedly said “I would really love to see you in those thongs. I bet you look really good in them. Maybe we can make that happen, huh?” The investigator who took her report never bothered to interview Hoeffer, according to the file. When the victim didn’t return phone calls, the case was closed with no action, Mower reported.
Similarly, when the blind woman reported her rape to Riviera Beach police, it took the agency 48 days to follow up.
It wasn’t the first time Riviera Beach had investigated Hoeffer for a rape allegation. A woman accused him of taking her to a hotel while on duty and raping her in 1996. Prosecutors at the time declined to charge him.
How does someone in such a sensitive position of trust get a pass over and over, and worse, continue being paid by taxpayers? Clearly, Palm Beach Shores police lack appropriate protocols for handling citizen complaints. What will it take for Palm Beach Shores and Riviera Beach police to earn back the public’s trust?
Case of San Jose Police Officer Accused Of Raping Undocumented Immigrant Goes To Court
SAN JOSE (KCBS)— The case of a San Jose police officer accused of raping an undocumented immigrant while on duty was in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Monday, although the accused officer did not appear. Prosecutors say they are ready to take the case to the next level.
Lead prosecutor Carlos Vega said they are ready for a preliminary hearing of the case against San Jose Police Officer Geoffrey Graves but it was postponed a week until March 9th. So the defense could review witness testimony.
“The witnesses have been notified. The evidence has been organized and ready to go, which means that we’re ready to proceed at this stage in the process.” Vega said.
The alleged assault happened in September of 2013. Following a call for domestic violence, Graves took the victim to a hotel at her request, and then she claims he sexually assaulted her.
“If these allegations are proven to be true, the officer will be held accountable for his actions,”
San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol.
Graves has pleaded not guilty, is out on $100,000 bail and remains on paid administrative leave from the department. He faces eight years in prison.
The investigation by San Jose Police has been monitored by the city’s Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell.
In a separate matter; the officer is also accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2012 and 2013.
Former Alexandria officer charged with carnal knowledge
By Melissa Gregory
A former Alexandria police officer was booked into jail Thursday and later was released after being arrested on a carnal knowledge of a juvenile charge, according to a release.
Deric Dionell Reed, 38, of 204 Grand Lakes Blvd. in Alexandria, turned himself in at the Rapides Parish Detention Center after a warrant had been issued for his arrest, according to the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office release.
Reed, who resigned from the Alexandria Police Department in January before he was to undergo a disciplinary hearing in connection to the case, was charged with one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile. He later was released on a $5,000 bond.
The case began on Dec. 1, when a complaint was filed with the sheriff's office alleging that Reed was in a relationship with a juvenile female. Detectives started an investigation "with the assistance and cooperation of the Alexandria Police Department," reads the release.
Meanwhile, the department began its own internal investigation and took Reed off active duty. The incident allegedly took place out of Alexandria and while Reed was off duty.
BPD 'Officer of the Year' Charged With Lewd Conduct -
BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- It's a case you've never heard about, until now.
Boston Police Sergeant, Edwin Guzman, is accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a minor.
38-year-old Guzman was charged in November, but the case has remained under the radar for months, frustrating the alleged victim and her family who worry justice will not be served.
Guzman is a decorated officer, who was named VFW Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2012.
He was recognized for his "great work" as he was promoted to sergeant on the Boston Police force in August 2014. It was around this same time last summer that Guzman was allegedly sending sexually explicit Facebook messages to a 16-year-old girl.
The teenager tells FOX Undercover she considered him a family friend and a father-figure until things took a strange turn on Facebook.
Sergeant Guzman and his alleged victim were sending messages back and forth.
She says Guzman wrote: "You're really pretty. You deserve to be spoiled."
Guzman allegedly asked her if she could keep a secret and offered to buy her a new phone for her birthday.
When the alleged victim was going to tell her mother about the new phone purchase, she says Guzman asked her not to, reminding her that that's the point of the secret.
“All I'll have to do is when he wants to hang out with me is touch him the way he wants, and I would have to let him touch me also,” said the teenager. “I kind of got scared because I'm like is he offering me a phone just so I can do stuff to him?”
She says there were also questions from Guzman about her experience with sex and then she says he sent her a naked picture of himself.
She says she deleted the picture right away and only told her mother about the Facebook exchange weeks later.
"The first thing I started doing was crying. I started crying,” said the teen's mother. “She's a little girl. Why would she have to go through this?"
They went to Randolph Police since they live there and then Boston Police Headquarters.
The mother says something unusual happened while she was meeting with Boston Police that made her suspicious: a Facebook message from Sergeant Guzman arrived during the middle of the meeting.
"When I went to the headquarters to report what was going on I received a message from him, “Hey we need to talk. It's important.'"
She never responded, but still wonders if someone at Boston Police headquarters tipped off Guzman that they were there.
She also thinks it's peculiar that there's been no publicity about this case until now.
"I think they're keeping it quiet because of who he is,” said the mother. “I don't want this to be swept under the rug."
Guzman is charged him with sending obscene matter to a minor and accosting and annoying a person of the opposite sex.
Guzman and his attorney declined to talk about the case.
The alleged victim and her mother say Randolph police told them they have been able to get the conversations from Facebook.
Guzman is on paid leave from his job at Boston Police while the case is pending.
Boston Police say they're waiting for the outcome of the case before deciding their next step.
As for the lack of publicity, Randolph Police referred us to the Norfolk District Attorney's office which tells us it doesn't issue press releases for cases involving lewd conduct.
Both mom and daughter are nervous about going public with the allegations, but think it's important to speak out.
“I feel that if he was comfortable enough to do it to her at the age of 16, I would say I don't know what else he's able to do out there,” said the mother.
“I don't want him to do it to anyone else. Since he's a cop, he might use that as an advantage to get what he wants,” said the alleged victim.
GRPD officer accused of rape was new cop
By Leon Hendrix and 24 Hour News 8 web staff Published: March 2, 2015, 4:27 pm Updated: March 3, 2015, 11:59 am
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids police officer charged with forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend’s home and raping her was new to the force when the allegations surfaced.
Ryan James Bruggink, 24, is facing charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree home invasion. The alleged crimes did not occur while he was on duty, Grand Rapids Police Department Lt. Pat Merrill said.
Michigan State Police say Bruggink came to the victim’s home around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 25, 2014 after she had asked him not to come over. He got inside the home by “pushing the victim by her face after she cracked the door open,” court records show. Investigators say he then raped the victim.
Days later, the victim reported the crime to Michigan State Police. She didn’t go to local police because of Bruggink’s position as an officer.
MSP notified Grand Rapids police immediately and the officer was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 1. Bruggink resigned on Dec. 2, Merrill said.
Bruggink was new to the force, with just over five months on the job. Merrill said he had not yet been allowed on the road by himself.
Bob Hackett, Bruggink’s attorney of record, declined to discuss the case when reached by 24 Hour News 8 on Tuesday.
“I’ll tell you what,” Hackett said over the phone. “At this point, we’re going to have no comment.”
The case came to light more than a month after charges were filed when local news media discovered the case. The Grand Rapids police chief was out of town and not available to discuss the situation Monday.
In October, Bruggink made the news for rescuing a deer that was trapped inside a baseball diamond. He spoke to 24 Hour News 8 about the rescue, which was caught on video.