Update – Sex, Lies and the Oakland Police Department

After months of waiting to hear the outcome of the investigation, the Alameda County District Attorney announced today that seven current and former law enforcement officers were charged in connection with the Oakland PD Sex Scandal.  In June 2016 I wrote a post detailing the allegations and their torrid history.  The charges announced today involve five officers from Oakland PD, one from Livermore and one from Contra Costa County.  Based on statements from the Alameda County District Attorney it appears additional charges might face these officers and others for conduct that occurred outside the county.

The charges against the officers range from sex offenses to obstruction of justice allegations.  The sex offenses stem from claims of a young woman who says she had sex with numerous officers, often in exchange for information on when and where prostitution busts would be occurring.  The young woman also alleged she had sex with officers for money and that at least some of the sexual conduct occurred when she was under the age of 18 – a fact which the officers were allegedly aware.  Since coming out with these allegations the young woman has relocated to a rehab facility out of state with the assistance of the Victim Compensation Program.

The scandal broke in the late 2015 when an Oakland police officer, who had had sex with the young woman, committed suicide, leaving a note naming other officers who had sex with the young woman.  The scandal exploded earlier this summer when Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf fired then police chief  Sean Whent.  His firing marked the first of three high profile departures in the Oakland police department in a matter of weeks.  Since then four additional Oakland officer have been fired and seven others suspended.  The Oakland Police Department has been under the supervision of a federal monitor for the past 13 years.  Until this summer Oakland officials had been hopeful that the end of the federal monitoring was in sight.

Officers in other jurisdictions implicated in the scandal have avoided prosecution – or at least they did initially.  Earlier this summer Contra Costa County Prosecutors declined to prosecute former Oakland Officer Tyler Smith who had been accused of forcibly sodomizing the young woman.  Both the Alameda County Sheriff and the Richmond Police Department claimed that internal investigations did not reveal illegal acts or violations of department policy.  Contrary to these earlier statements sources now say numerous Richmond officers, including two school resource officers, as well as officers from San Francisco are currently being investigated.