CHP officer forwards nude photos from DUI suspect's phone

CHP Officer may face felony charges for forwarding nude photos from DUI suspect's cellphone

On October 23, 2014, Contra Costa, CA prosecutors have met, considering felony computer theft charges against 35-year-old California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Sean Harrington. The District Attorney Investigator has recommended that criminal charges be filed against Harrington, who is suspected of accessing nude photos of a DUI suspect and covertly sending them from her cellphone to his own.

On Aug. 29, 2014, Harrington and a second CHP officer pulled over a 23-year-old San Ramon, CA woman for allegedly making an unsafe lane change. She reportedly showed signs of intoxication, failed field sobriety tests and was taken to County Jail.

Investigators say that Harrington asked the woman for a password to her cellphone, in order to find contact information for the person she wanted to call from jail. After unlocking the phone, Officer Harrington looked through the photo folder, where he found explicit photos of the woman. He then forwarded six of those pictures to his own cellphone.

The woman never gave Harrington permission to access the photos, especially “private and compromising” ones in which she exposes various parts of her body, said the victim’s attorney, Rick Madsen. “It’s tantamount to theft,” he added.

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