Four US policemen to be sacked over sexual misconduct

Washington, Sep 8 (IANS) Four police officers at Oakland in US will be fired and seven others suspended without pay for their roles in a sexual misconduct scandal that sparked national outrage earlier this year, an official said here.

The officers were found guilty of administrative charges of attempted sexual assault, engaging in lewd conduct, assisting in prostitution and accessing law enforcement databases for personal gain, among other offenses, said Mayor Libby Schaaf late Wednesday.

Seven others were suspended without pay for failing to report the sexual misconduct, and other crimes, Los Angeles Times reported.

“I want to send a clear message to the victims of sexual abuse and exploitation… We see you. We hear you, and we are here to help you,” Schaaf said, adding “And to those who exploit these victims…take pleasure in their pain, we see you too.”

Police have been investigating allegations that officers were having sexual contact with a self-described teenage sex worker for nearly a year. The woman told authorities that she first met an Oakland officer for the sex trafficking of underage girls.

The scandal exploded in June, when the woman claimed in a televised interview to have had sexual interaction with more than a dozen city police officers.

She said some of the interactions happened when she was underage, and also claimed to have hadsex with some officers in exchange for information about planned prostitution raids.

The scandal included members of four other East Bay law enforcement agencies were also accused of either having sex with the woman or engaging in other inappropriate conduct with her.

Two Oakland police officers resigned, and three others were placed on administrative leave, the officials said.

Schaaf refused to identify any of the officers.

The East Bay Express, that broke many of the early details of the scandal, reported that the Richmond Police Department obtained funding to send the woman to rehabilitation in Florida.

The fallout of the scandal earlier this year also led to a major shake-up in the Police Department’s command staff. Police Chief Sean Whent resigned the same weekend the woman gave her televised interview.

–IANS

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