A couple of California Highway Patrol officers arrested a 23-year-old driver in a Bay Area suburb on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol on Aug. 29.
Five days after her release, the woman discovered that some of her explicit photographs had been forwarded to an unknown number – which was strange because her phone had been confiscated when she was brought to the Martinez County jail for processing.
It was later revealed that her private photos were stolen and shared by Sean Harrington, one of the CHP cops.
While many are criticizing the ways cops deal with personal information of arrestees, even more disgusting is the response of the 35-year-old CHP veteran to the allegations reported against him.
Harrington admitted his actions but defended them by calling it a “game” among officers, and told his investigators he had done it “half dozen times in the last several years.”
Two other officers identified as Robert Hazelwood and Dion Simmons are named in an Oct. 14 search warrant affidavit, suspected of receiving the photos from Harrington.
According to court documents obtained by The Contra Costa Times, Harrington sent those photos next to Simmons, who replied, saying “nice.”
Harrington asked his colleague to return the favor “down the road buddy.”
Following the August celebrity photo hacking controversy, actress Jennifer Lawrence – one of the several victims of the hack – stated in a Vanity Fair interview that leaking nude images was a disgusting “sex crime.”
“It is a sexual violation,” she told Sam Kashner. “It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these websites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
Going by Lawrence’s definition – logic – what the California cops are doing, even if it’s not for profit, is a blatant sex crime and they are getting away with it.
Although CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said a criminal case will be opened if the accusations are proved correct, not one of the officers has yet been arrested or charged.