A famous California police officer who was once named “detective of the year” has been arrested for allegedly sending graphic photos to a polar decoy pretending to be a 14-year-old girl.
Detective Gregory Beaumarchais, 43, was charged with a misdemeanor count of molesting or harassing a victim believed to be under 18, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said. statement.
Det. Beaumarchais, who has been with the Santa Ana Police Department since 2011, was placed on administrative leave after a citizen notified the department that he had allegedly sent them sexually graphic messages while pretending to be a 14-year-old girl.
The texts were sent on social media between December and January, some of them while Det. Beaumarchais was on duty, the DA’s statement said.
Det. Beaumarchais was named Santa Ana Police Detective of the Year in 201, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The department says it was made aware of the allegations in December and referred the investigation to federal and county authorities. After turning himself into authorities Tuesday, he was released on his own recognizance the same day.
According to the DA’s office, social media platform Det. Beaumarchais sent the messages since deleting his account before creating a new profile under a similar handle.
If convicted of the misdemeanor, he would have to register as a sex offender. He could also spend up to a year in jail and be fined $5,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 13.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer reported the alleged conduct in a Press release.
“Police officers are entrusted with the sacred responsibility of protecting society from harm,” Mr. Spitzer said.
“It is beyond disturbing that a sworn police officer would engage in inappropriate conversations with someone he believed to be a child. Our children should not have to worry about being preyed upon by the very people we teach them and are there to protect them.”
Meanwhile, the Santa Ana Police Department told a statement that he is actively cooperating with Orange County and Homeland Security investigators working on the case.
“Misconduct, of any type, negatively affects the commitment to public service displayed by the vast majority of our officers,” said Chief David Valentine.
“Our Department will not tolerate misconduct or alleged criminal conduct that violates the trust placed by the community we are hired to serve. We will ensure that a full, thorough and objective administrative investigation is conducted immediately after the conclusion of the criminal case.”
Det. Beaumarchais works as an officer with the Major Enforcement Team, which deals with gun, drug and gang-related crimes. New York Post mentionted.
The independent has reached Det. Beaumarchais’ attorney for comment.