Oct 18 2013

Worcester police officer already under house arrest now charged with rape, assault

Dr. Q

A Worcester police officer who has been under house arrest while facing assault and drug charges is now facing new charges of rape and assault. The Telegram & Gazette reports:

A Worcester police officer under house arrest for an alleged domestic assault is also being charged with four counts of rape and three counts of assault and battery.

Robert A. Farrar, 42, of 2 Misty Meadow Lane, Oxford, is to be arraigned Nov. 11 in Dudley District Court.

Thursday, a clerk magistrate found probable cause against Officer Farrar on the additional charges of rape and assault and battery.

Officer Farrar had been charged previously with assault and battery, aggravated assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a belt) and possession of Percocet, all in connection with an alleged domestic assault Sept. 26 at his home at 170 Prince Road, Southbridge.

In both cases, Judge Timothy M. Bibaud allowed a motion, made by the district attorney’s office, to impound the probable cause narratives.

Officer Farrar is a 19-year veteran of the Worcester Police Department. He was placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy. As a result, the Worcester Police Department’s Bureau of Professional Standards is conducting an internal investigation.

This police officer has been charged with ten violent crimes, yet has been given a paid vacation at taxpayer expense.

Update (11/14/2013): The Telegram & Gazette reports that Farrar is no longer under house arrest.

A Worcester police officer who has been under house arrest for more than a month no longer has to wear an electronic monitoring device as he awaits trial in a domestic assault case.

On Tuesday, lawyer Anthony M. Salerno made an oral motion for removal of the electronic monitoring device of his client, Officer Farrar.

Mr. Salerno said his client has been under electronic monitoring for more than a month and has shown excellent compliance with all terms and conditions placed upon him.

Assistant District Attorney John Sares objected to the motion for removal.

During a short recess, Judge Bibaud called Judge Robert J. Pellegrini, who originally ordered the electronic monitoring device to be placed on Officer Farrar, before allowing the motion for removal. As a result, Officer Farrar has been restored to previous conditions of bail and personal recognizance.

In addition, Judge Bibaud allowed a motion to impound the address of the defendant’s sister’s home, where Officer Farrar has been staying since his release. At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Officer Farrar returned his electronic monitoring device to Dudley District Court.

Oct 13 2013

Worcester prosecutor transferred after encounter with police sergeant

Dr. Q

A Worcester assistant district attorney was recently transferred to a different court by the district attorney for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, but are apparently related to a video-recorded incident involving the assistant DA and a Worcester police sergeant. According to media reports, the incident may have been some sort of sexual or romantic encounter between the two, but Police Chief Gary Gemme has denied this.

Here’s Worcester Magazine on the incident:

Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early has transferred an employee from Worcester Superior Court to a district court outside the city, but he is not saying why. The move is believed to be related to an alleged incident involving an assistant district attorney and a Worcester police officer in a room inside the courthouse. What exactly transpired between the two is where the details start to get fuzzy, but Police Chief Gary Gemme acknowledges there is a tape of the incident. At the same time, Gemme is shooting down rumors of a sexual encounter between the two individuals, whose identities neither the chief nor the DA revealed

“We heard the rumors and there’s a lot of innuendo and plenty of exaggeration,” Gemme tells Worcester Magazine. “There was no sexual activity, no sexual content.”

He says there is video footage of whatever happened between the DA’s employee and the officer, but says he has not seen it.

“I had a high-ranking police official review the tape,” the chief says, not naming the official. “Based on his report there was no sexual activity or content. It’s really just an exaggeration.”

Saying again there was no sexual content on the tape, Gemme was asked whether the individuals on the tape were observed kissing or in any way being physically affectionate.

“I don’t want to get into anything specific,” he says. He was also asked to confirm speculation that the two individuals on the tape were married to other people. “That’ s not a question that I would really want to address.”

Whatever occurred, Gemme says, “We’re going to treat it as a personal matter. We’re still addressing it.”

He did say based on what he has learned so far he does not anticipate discipline rising to the level of a termination or suspension. “I don’t want to pre-judge anything, because we are looking at it.”

And here’s Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson:

In an interview Tuesday, Early declined to comment about the sexual incident but confirmed that he transferred the female assistant district attorney to a suburban district court last week. She had been an assistant DA in Worcester for three years, and had reportedly submitted her name for a judgeship.

“If there’s a personnel matter that needs to be addressed, we would address it internally,” Early said. “If we have a problem we deal with it. People are held to standards and make mistakes and we deal with it.”

He added, “In this office as with life, things seem to come in cycles. It’s a roller coaster. You have your ups, you have your downs.”

Last month would perhaps be considered a down cycle. On Sept. 18, the ADA was reportedly captured on videotape in a romantic tryst with a detective sergeant in a conference room linked to Courtroom No. 20. Both are married to other people and have young children.

The incident in the conference room has been the focus of intense gossip at the courthouse and beyond for weeks. While some employees have seemed eager to engage in speculation, many others say the parties involved are well-liked and well-respected.

“We’re just hoping it goes away,” one employee said.

Still others expressed surprise that the parties would risk being caught on videotape. While the tape is reportedly in the custody of the state Trial Court, Jeff Morrow, director of security for the Trial Court, declined to discuss the incident or elaborate on the video system.

“Video surveillance is commonly used for enhanced security throughout the commonwealth,” he said.

This newspaper decided not to publish the names of the parties involved. While their behavior may be considered inappropriate or untoward, they’re consenting adults who committed no crime… [They] are highly regarded employees who may fall under the category of good people doing dumb things.

It’s not known if Police Chief Gary Gemme intends to take action against his sergeant, as neither he nor his spokesman returned phone calls this week. Nor is it clear why he would insist in another publication that “no sexual activity or content” was captured on the tape when the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

I’m going to have to disagree with the idea that this is just a “personal matter” or a just “consenting adults who committed no crime.” If a prosecutor was involved in some sort of romantic or sexual relationship with a police sergeant, the integrity of any trials these two were both involved in would be completely compromised. If this officer ever testified in a case this assistant district attorney was prosecuting, there would be an obvious conflict of interest.

An incident like this isn’t a joke. This deserves an independent investigation to determine if the relationship between these two might have prejudiced the results of any of this prosecutor’s convictions.

Jul 30 2013

State trooper under investigation commits suicide

Dr. Q

A state trooper who was the subject of a criminal investigation committed suicide. The Boston Herald reports:

A trooper who was “the subject of an investigation” in what state police are calling “an alleged criminal act” has taken his own life, officials report.

State police announced the unnamed trooper “took his life yesterday afternoon at the Hilton Garden Inn in Devens.”

Police added: “The trooper was the subject of an investigation, initiated Sunday, into an alleged criminal act that occurred early Sunday morning while he was on duty. Upon initiation of the investigation, his use-of-force equipment, including his service firearm, was confiscated and he was relieved of duty.”

State police go on to say the trooper “made statements to two people indicating he intended to harm himself. Those people contacted State Police, a search for the trooper was immediately initiated, and the trooper was found deceased in the Devens hotel room with self-inflicted wounds.”

The trooper was 40 years old and had been with the state police since June of 2005.

This is pretty sad. Suicide is tragic, even if the person who killed him or herself is guilty of a serious crime. However, I will still be adding the officer’s alleged criminal conduct to my police misconduct database.

Many people do not realize it, but suicide is a serious problem among police officers. A recent study found that police officers are more likely than the average person to commit suicide. Police are also about as likely to commit suicide as they are to die at work due to violence or accidents.

Update (7/31/2013): WBZ/CBS Boston has obtained more information about the state trooper. The trooper was Greg Jasinksas, a Marine and National Guardsman who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The crime he was being investigated for “involved sexual activity.”

Update (7/31/2013): The Boston Herald has confirmed that the crime Jasinskas was being investigate for was sexual assault.

The state trooper found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Devens hotel room was under investigation for a “criminal act” while on duty, state police said — and Brockton’s top cop confirmed that trooper had been accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Trooper Gregory J. Jasinskas, 40, was under investigation for allegations of assaulting a Brockton woman behind a store on Route 24 in Avon early Sunday, Brockton Police Chief Emanuel Gomes told the Herald. He confirmed his department was drawn into the investigation Monday after state police asked his officers to go to the alleged victim’s Brockton home and “refer her to the state police.” Brockton police officers also assisted in the hunt for Jasinskas on Monday after authorities received reports he intended to harm himself, Gomes said.

Also, I mistakenly wrote that the last update, which mas made earlier today, was made on August 1. This error has been corrected.

May 1 2013

Lowell police officer sentenced for extortion

Dr. Q

A Lowell police officer has been sentenced to two years in jail for extortion after using his badge to compel sexual favors from prostitutes (Source: Boston.com).

Jan 30 2012

News Roundup (Jan. 23 – 29)

Dr. Q

Here are the stories I tracked this past week:

  • Carlos Miller reports that a warrant has been issued for Hector Nunez, the Haverhill resident who posted two videos of police visiting his home during the past few weeks. The warrant is for maintaining a noisy and disorderly house. As Carlos Miller points out, the warrant was probably issued in retaliation for Nunez posting videos of his police encounters online.
  • The Patriot Ledger reports that the trial of Weymouth Police Officer Steven Gomez has been postponed for a second time. Gomez was charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 after allegedly groping a female State Police employee at a Thanksgiving party in 2010. The trial was postponed due to scheduling conflicts with witnesses.
  • WBZ-TV reports that three guns have gone missing from the Chelsea District Court and are believed to be stolen. Kevin Murphy, the clerk magistrate, has been reassigned to the Salem District Court while the State Police investigate to determine what happened to the guns.
  • The Chelsea Record reports that a man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Chelsea police alleging that he was arrested for taking photographs at his son’s soccer game. After a boy was injured by a falling goalpost, Rodrigo Blanco, a professional photographer, a few pictures to document the incident. Police allegedly ordered him to delete the photos and arrested him when he refused.
  • Finally, earlier this week, I posted the report of the internal investigation of a UMass Lowell police officer who threatened to assault a student for video recording him. Make sure you check it out here.

Dec 19 2011

State trooper tries to run down Lynn cop after caught with prostitute

Dr. Q

Off-duty state trooper Efrain Montanez was arrested on Friday by Lynn police officers. Montanez stands accused of nearly striking a Lynn police officers with his department-issed pickup truck after he was caught engaging in a sex act with a prostitute.

WBZ-TV has the story here: