A California Highway Patrol officer who admitted that he'd stolen photos from a DUI suspect's phone during an arrest has now admitted that he and and other officers have been playing this "game" for years, wherein they traded explicit photos of women they'd arrested, new court documents reveal.
The officer, 35-year-old Sean Harrington, told investigators that he'd taken private photos from suspects' phones over the course of five years and had sent them to other highway patrol officers, including his colleague Robert Hazelwood. The Contra-Costa Times obtained documents on Friday that reveal the game occurred from the Los Angeles office to the Dublin, Ca. station.
In the search warrant affidavit, senior Contra Costa district attorney inspector Darryl Holcombe wrote that he found probable cause to show both CHP officers Harrington and Hazelwood and others engaged in a "scheme to unlawfully access the cell phone of female arrestees by intentionally gaining access to their cell phone and without their knowledge, stealing and retaining nude or partially clothed photographs of them." That behavior constitutes felony computer theft, the affidavit said.
In one exchange, according to the court documents, Harrington allegedly texted his pal Hazelhood with the photo of a woman he had arrested after a drunk driving crash, saying "Taken from the phone of my 10-15x while she's in X-rays. Enjoy buddy!!!" While not nude, the woman was dressed in a bikini.
Hazelwood reportedly replied, "No fucking nudes?"
Harrington admitted to having stolen and shared explicit photos of young women he arrested over "a half dozen times in the last several years." No charges have been brought against the officers yet, but the California High Patrol office is reportedly undergoing "active and open investigations," the Contra Costa Times reports.