Medina officer fired over sex with teen
A Medina police officer has been fired after admitting to having sex with a 16-year-old girl, the department's police chief said Wednesday...
Seattle Times Eastside bureau
A Medina police officer has been fired after admitting to having sex with a 16-year-old girl, the department's police chief said Wednesday.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is considering whether to file criminal charges related to the officer being in possession of a lewd photo of the 16-year-old, not for a sexual act.
Medina Police Chief Jeffrey Chen said he became aware of the situation on Sept. 19 and fired the 27-year-old officer, whom he would not identify, on Sept. 20.
The officer was hired by the Medina department in February and went through 4-½ months of law-enforcement training-academy coursework before joining the department in June, Chen said. He had been on a one-year probation.
The investigation began in September, Chen said, when the department learned about possible contacts between the officer and the girl. The case then was turned over to the Seattle Police Department for further investigation to avoid potential conflicts of interest, Chen added.
That investigation discovered the officer met the girl through an Internet advertisement and that they later had sex.
The age of consent for sexual intercourse in Washington state is 16.
It is a crime for an older person to have sex with a 16- or 17-year-old if all of the following factors apply: the person is at least five years older than the teenager, is in a supervisory role over that teen, uses that supervisory role in order to have intercourse, and is in a "significant" relationship with the teen, according to state law.
The officer is apparently not facing a charge related to the sex act because all of those factors did not apply.
Chen said it's not clear whether any crimes took place and that all the activities occurred during the officer's personal time.
The officer was booked into the King County Jail on Oct. 23 for investigation of possession of a lewd photograph of a minor and released seven hours later without being charged and with no bail required.
Regardless of whether any crimes were committed, the officer was a probationary employee of the department, said Chen, and the relationship was not acceptable.
"This was conduct I can't have for a police officer," Chen said. "The conduct was off-duty, and then I terminated the officer."
Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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