VIDEO: Former San Mateo police officer investigated for sexual misconduct

 

SAN MATEO (KRON) — A former San Mateo police officer is being investigated for sexual misconduct, according to police.

Police said they have been working on this case since Oct. 2015. The officer has been identified as Noah Winchester.

“Of course, we cannot comment on the District Attorney’s independent investigation or any potential charges that may result until such time as their investigation is concluded. We do want to confirm what we know, when we knew it, and assure our public that we took immediate and decisive actions to address it and protect our community,” police spokesman Richard Decker said in a press release on Thursday.

But KRON’s Kate Cagle has learned the officer is under investigation for sexually assaulting women while in uniform.

Police said the officer was immediately placed on administrative leave after the allegations came to light.

“That very same day the Department immediately forwarded the information to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office and requested a full independent investigation of all allegations. We have actively cooperated with and supported that investigation, and initiated our own internal personnel investigation as well,” Decker said.

The officer has resigned in the midst of the investigation, police said.

“While there have been no formal findings yet by the District Attorney’s office, these allegations which involve sexual misconduct are so repugnant to all that we stand for in law enforcement, Police Chief Susan Manheimer has written the attached open letter to our community to share with them that we are deeply disturbed by these allegations. We as a department, and members of law enforcement, stand fast and true to the ideals and highest tenets of the trust that you place within us. There is no allowance for any misconduct or illegal activity within our ranks. We will continue to actively work with and support the District Attorney’s office in this investigation and anticipate media availability for interviews once the District Attorney has concluded his investigation,” Decker said in the press release.

Here is the open letter:

The district attorney’s office said it has not yet decided if it wants to bring charges in this case. Until then, the district attorney said he will not elaborate on the nature of the allegations.

He would only say that the officer is accused of misconduct toward women while in uniform and while on-duty.

“The SMPD recognizes the seriousness, and is absolutely horrified at the nature of these criminal allegations. We want to reassure the public that this alleged conduct in no way reflects the core values of this department, its members, or the police profession,” the chief of police said in a statement.

The district attorney will decide whether to bring charges against the officer in the coming weeks.

KRON’s Kate Cagle contributed to this report.

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