A former Bradenton police officer allegedly used local and state law enforcement databases to look for women to date and have sex with, according to reports.
An investigation by the Bradenton Police Department allegedly revealed that the former police officer targeted women, using his position to approach them for dates. He is accused of having sex with some of them, even while on duty.
By law, the databases are only supposed to be used for official police business.
The 12-year veteran of the force was pulled from patrol duty, placed on administrative leave without pay and stripped of his badge, gun and uniform. He resigned on October 30.
Bradenton police referred a criminal investigation to the FBI, which is spearheading its own inquiry.
Police uncovered the man’s alleged scheme after a woman and her parents filed a complaint last June.
The former officer had met the woman in the parking lot of a local store, and followed her most of the way home in his police car. He knocked on the door of her parents’ house and told them he wanted to speak with their daughter about a “domestic matter,” according to reports.
Her parents refused the request, and asked for the man’s name and his supervisor’s information.
The woman’s parents called the Bradenton Police Department, where a watch commander told them the man was the officer on duty at the time. The parents explained he’d followed their daughter home because she had a headlight out.
When the two stories did not add up, the department launched an investigation.
Investigators searched the man’s use of the state’s Driver and Vehicle Information Database.
They apparently found “several hundred” of the man’s search queries in the department’s database diverged sharply from the “open and active cases” he and law enforcement colleagues were working on as part of official duties.
The BPD’s internal investigation revealed his alleged behavior stretched back as far as 2012.
The department identified 150 women it believed were associated with the case.
He allegedly used the database information to reach out to the women with social media, phone calls or visits to their homes to “try and get dates with these women.”
Investigators believe the man committed numerous administrative violations, including having sex on duty. The Bradenton police declined to publicly issue the results of its internal investigation, as the man could be subject to criminal charges.
If you know that you are under investigation for an alleged crime, you do not need to wait to be charged or arrested to take defensive action. Our Manatee County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you conduct a pre-file investigation if you are aware that law enforcement is investigating you. Just know that if you are being investigated for a crime, you have the legal right to be represented by a criminal defense lawyer.
When we conduct a pre-file investigation, we can start mounting a defense before you are even charged. We urge you to contact us as soon as possible so that you do not risk incriminating yourself. During a police pre-file investigation, you must invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent rather than volunteering information that can damage your case.