MARTINEZ — Prosecutors have charged a former California Highway Patrol officer with two felonies after women he arrested on suspicion of drunken driving accused him of stealing explicit photos from their cellphones.
Sean Harrington, 35, resigned two days before prosecutors filed charges, the Contra Costa Times reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1yNMwHR ).
The allegations surfaced after a 23-year-old San Ramon woman discovered nude photos of herself had been sent from her phone to an unfamiliar number. A 19-year-old woman arrested in a Livermore drunken driving crash also accused Harrington of sharing intimate photos from her phone.
According to investigators, Harrington confessed to doing this about six times, and he considered it a game. Prosecutors charged Harrington with one felony count of theft of computer data for each woman.
Harrington's attorney, Michael Rains, provided the newspaper with a statement apologizing to the women and to Harrington's colleagues in law enforcement. It says he is "embarrassed to have tarnished the reputation of the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement generally."
Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Barry Grove said he is not charging two officers in the Dublin office who received the pictures from Harrington.
Attorney Richard Madsen Jr. told the newspaper that he disagrees with the decision to leave them out. He said they knowingly and voluntarily received the images, which Madsen said he considered a criminal act.
Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson said in a statement that investigators had interviewed several officers in the Dublin office and considered further forensic evidence in making their decision.
"Should additional evidence later be obtained that an officer violated the law, he (or) she will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Peterson said.