CHP officers caught trading nude photos of female suspects
October 28, 2014
A once secret game exists within the California Highway Patrol in which officers trade nude photos of female arrestees. [Contra Costa Times]
Multiple CHP officers are currently on administrative duty in Northern California as they await charges, which will likely be filed this week by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors have obtained text message conversations between two officers in which they share the photos and discuss the women involved.
One of the officers, 35-year-old Sean Harrington, has already confessed to finding and stealing explicit photos of women he booked in jail.
Harrington told prosecutors that he forward nude photos from suspects’ cell phones to himself and then shared them with other officers. He alleges that the practice, which he describes as a game, is widespread within the CHP and has been going on for years.
CHP officials have condemned the behavior and have said it is isolated to the Dublin office in Contra Costa County. Harrington, however, has already confessed to stealing photos while working in a Los Angeles area office.
“It’s just one guy’s statement,” said Sgt. Jose Nunez, a spokesman for the CHP Southern Division. “Officers who I work with don’t do it.”
The uncovering of photo-stealing web began when a San Ramon woman discovered that racy photos from her phone had been sent to an unfamiliar number while she was being booked in jail for allegedly driving under the influence. She later called the number and determined that it belonged to her arresting officer.
The victim then reported the occurrence to authorities and an investigation began.