CHP officers caught trading nude photos of female suspects

October 28, 2014

CHP@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.


Many points of stupidity here, a majority of which falls on the idiot officers shoulders.


1. Haven’t people learned, given recent phone hacking events, not to take nudies of themselves and keep them on their phones?

2. Outstanding citizens don’t USUALLY get themselves arrested.


1. There are plenty of naked pictures of women available legally, stealing off an arrestee’s phone isn’t exactly mensa material.

2. Go ahead and risk your job, pension, benefits, family, reputation, etc., for the desire to see some skanky chick naked.

3. Sharing this crap with other like-minded immature morons is something a 35 year old, supposed outstanding member of society, should have outgrown by now.

4. Ever hear of “delete sent messages”?

I hate stupid people.


QUOTING PERSPICACIOUS: “Outstanding citizens don’t USUALLY get themselves arrested.”


Neanderthal? Party of one?

Whether or not someone is an “outstanding citizen” has zip to do with the issue! In the first place, every person has the right to be presumed innocent until found guilty.

Secondly, whether or not a person is guilty, I am quite sure the nude photos were not obtained after Officer Merv the Perv obtained a search warrant to search the victim’s cell phone.

Thirdly, even if a search warrant was obtained, unless the photo was relevant to the on-going investigation, the photo would not be part of evidence.

Finally, even if the photo was deemed relevant to the investigation, under no circumstance would officer Merv the Perv been given the right to retain the photo for his personal use, and share the photo with his fellow Pervie officers.


Reading Comprehension? Party of one?

Being “arrested” does not equal guilt nor innocence. While your rant is valid and I agree with much of it, you still make it sound as if Perspicacious said “guilty” and not “arrested” – sorry I am being nit-picky.

Mr. Holly

Why does anyone have nude pictures of themselves on their cell phone. I guess the saying should be “can you see me now” instead of “can you hear me now”?

Stupid is stupid and you can’t fix it.


It isn’t illegal to have nudie-cutie photos on a personal cell phone, and there is a right to personal privacy, you know.


There is no “personal” to an internet-connected device. Period. You are also partaking in an open, public network (either telephony / sms or data) and should realize that.

It’s like taking “nudie cutie” photos with a film camera, then sending the roll out to be developed.

You want nudes, use a non-connected digital camera, or better still, a polaroid. OR, simply not care if everyone sees you naked. Be a nudist or something. Free willy…


Welcome to the new ‘connected’ generation. They put videos of themselves online, and pics, getting high, doing illegal activity, etc.


That’s because most are spoiled and have no direction in life; when we lack REAL problems, we tend to just make some up. First World Problems is how it’s described. Weird Al has a song about it (and if Weird Al is singin’ about it, you know it’s serious!).

What else do kids have to do? School has been watered down into base indoctrination and test prep (more tests = more money for the corporations that run the schools), sports are quickly becoming a joke (chickified, as if we all drive volvos and want to be “safe and sane”), jobs? Yeah, forget that. The unemployment rate for teens and young adults is dismal, and they couldn’t afford anything anyway (at least not around here).

The bright side is, I do not think they believe in hope and change anymore. Maybe, just maybe, enough of them have (or can) pull their heads out of their asses (stop mimicking the adults) and fix what their grandparents screwed up (and their parents).


Another example of California’s finest at their best.


There are more and worse problems with “law enforcement” than this….but this one is typical of the double standards that apply now. “Nobility,” has one set of rules, while the serfs have another.

If a serf was sending nude pictures of nobility on their cell phones, a multimillion dollar investigation would be launched in order to put the serf in a cage.

In this case, an “anti-investigation” or obfuscation will result in order to make sure the nobility keeps their jobs, pensions, etc.

I’m more worried about the nearly ubiquitous abuse of steroids by cops than this. ‘Roid rage+guns+above-the-law is far more dangerous than this and is far more widespread.


I disagree. I bet these turkey’s lose everything. Drinks on the me if they don’t.


They deserve to lose everything. They crossed the line big-time, and the deserve whatever they get, and probably a whole lot more.


Two or three nobles might be transferred….they might even lose their jobs, although that is unlikely.

But this is a widespread problem, not an isolated incident. So what I’m saying is that an “Anti-investigation” will take place that protects the vast majority of nobles and their noble institution.

Again, if a mere mundane, or a serf did this to a CHP nobleman the whole thing would be drastically different.


It is the most intimate form of identity theft and I agree, the paid administrative leave is a bunch of bull#@!*. It is criminal activity plain and simple.It is that mindset that those in a position of authority can do as they please. I would not go so far to say that men are the only ones prone to deviant behavior when there have been so many cases of female teachers molesting their male students.


Innocent until proven guilty. They will probably lose their jobs, and more.


I agree with every opinion in your post.


Games men play when they look at women as “meat” or “objects” are not amusing nor professional. The “good ole boy” mentality and “boys will be boys” mentality propagates the abuse and degradation of women and has no place in any profession. It is always necessary to have women in upper management as a check and balance; women are typically not prone to behave like this (women rarely sexually exploit, rape, murder or engage in viewing porn [I am not saying they NEVER do, but the frequency is ~ 90% less]). This is why women are needed in such professions; we can be trusted from the standpoint of moral behavior.


Good people are necessary in upper management. Maybe we are seeing part of the blowback from becoming a secular society.

Don’t forget all of the female high school teachers playing footsies with underage boys.


Agreed, then why don’t the women respect themselves enough to not take nudes of themselves, knowing what we now know about how insecure they are on phones?


It has NOTHING to do with whether a woman (or man) respects themself.

Not everyone believes their bodies are repulsive and should be hidden in shame. Some actually find their bodies as pleasing to the eye.

If a person chooses to photo themselves, and even share images of their body with others, it is certainly their right.


Yes, Indigo, thank goodness we locally have women in upper management, or affiliated with upper management, who are shining examples: Cherie Aspero, McClish down in A.G., Jan Marx, Dee Torres, the last SLO PD chief who wrote a formal memo abandoning the town to unlimited modified motorcycle pipe noise, Caren Ray our appointed heavy drinking party girl. Yes, nothing but the finest.

Yes, thank goodness we have blameless women orbiting near the seats of power, to keep our society leadership posts pristine.

Women can be creeps just as much as these CHP male cops.


Don’t forget Debbie Arnold and Nancy Johnson, two classy examples to include in your first paragraph.


Law enforcement is fighting apple and google’s enhanced encryption of smartphones.

Stories like this one don’t support their cause.

Rich in MB

Yep…another good reason to not take naked photos of yourself…what are people thinking.

The NSA has them already…now so does Ponch and John.


As long as it is our right, we need to stand up to those who violate that right.

I think the NRA has become a threat to our society. However, I own a gun, and I will fight to defend all of my rights, including th rights outlined in the Second Amendment.


“administrative duty” another way of saying PAID desk duty. The officer who admitted to doing this should have been fired and if he wants to get any severance who should be required to give all names of the other officers involved in the “game”


Yes, he should name names. “Discovery” is key here. I bet there are officers in many departments erasing their phones, erasing email, etc.

We’ll probably see a rash of IRS / Lois Lerner like behavior where computer hard disks “crash”, and cell phones are “lost” and then replaced. Then we will hear “I don’t recall exactly” to questions.


Great idea.


Patience! The way the rules work they have to complete their investigation before they take any actions like firing. I just hope someone stays on top of this while the process plays out so they don’t let it go thinking that everyone forgot about it.