2nd California police agency reviews sex misconduct claims

AP News
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Posted: Jun 14, 2016 5:37 PM

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — A second police department in the San Francisco Bay Area has launched an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by its officers.

The Richmond and Oakland departments are investigating after an 18-year-old woman said she had sexual relations with two dozen current and former officers in five cities during her stint as a sex worker. She told the East Bay Times recently that she was underage during encounters with three of the officers.

Richmond Assistant Police Chief Bisa French said Tuesday that the department opened an internal affairs inquiry last week after receiving information from Oakland police.

French said several ranking officers are being investigated for criminal contact with the woman or policy violations but she could not confirm the exact number of officers.

In Oakland, the allegations marked another blow to a department that has been under federal oversight because of failures to adequately hold officers accountable for misdeeds. Police Chief Sean Whent stepped down Thursday and gave no specific reason for his resignation.

Whent said last month that an investigation into the misconduct allegations began after an officer killed himself last year but did not provide specifics. Two officers have resigned and two others are on paid leave.

Oakland police have been under the supervision of monitors appointed by federal courts since 2003. It stemmed from a civil settlement involving allegations that four night-shift officers in predominantly black west Oakland were beating and robbing residents and planting evidence.

The woman at the center of the scandal told the East Bay Times that she entered prostitution at age 12 and eventually ended up on Oakland's International Boulevard, a well-known sex-trafficking hub, said many officers knew she was underage.

The woman said she had sex with officers from the Oakland, Richmond, Livermore and Stockton departments and some from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.