Six California police officers, among them a lieutenant, were disciplined but got to keep their jobs after exchanging salacious messages with a teenage prostitute at the heart of a sex scandal that engulfed multiple law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area.
The young woman, the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher known by her assumed name Celeste Guap, alleged that she had had sex with dozens of police officers from seven departments, including Richmond, Oakland, Livermore, Contra Costa County and Alameda County.
She said some of her sexual encounters with officers happened while she was underage. Several officers were terminated as a result of an investigation, and several were charged criminally.
Oakland police Lt Felix Tan (left) was reprimanded but not fired for sexting with underage prostitute Celeste Guap (right) and asking her for nude photos
Sgt. Detective Erik Oliver (left), Detective Dan Campos (center) and Officer Joe Deorian (right) were all reprimanded for exchanging sexually explicit messages with Guap
As records released by the City of Richmond on Wednesday indicate, of the 11 officers who were implicated in the sex scandal, three were kicked off the force, six were given letters of reprimand and two quit before being subjected to punishment, reported KQED and The Mercury News.
One of the terminated officers later appealed the decision and won his job back.
The most high-ranking official of the six who were spared termination was Lt Felix Tan, a 20-year veteran who served as chief of staff to then-Chief Allwyn Brown.
Richmond, California, Police Chief Allwyn Brown resigned last year after being criticized over his handling of a sex scandal involving Guap
Tan was slapped with a written reprimand for sexting with Guap and asking the teenager for nude photos of herself.
In one text message exchange released by the City of Richmond, Tan wrote to Guap: ‘wher’s [sic] my pic? I want a pic of those big a** t**s too.’
During an internal affairs investigation into his conduct, Tan said: ‘Of course I made some comments because I’m a guy.’
He also admitted to asking Guap for additional photos of herself, according to the disciplinary records.
The City of Richmond released the documents to local news organizations as part of a settlement related to a lawsuit over the police transparency law.
In a 2016 interview, Guap named six Richmond cops who played a role in the sex scandal: Lt. Andre Hill, Sgt. Jerred Tong, Sgt. Terrance Jackson, Lt. Tan, Mike Rood and Armando Moreno.
The newly released records identified three additional officers: Sgt. Detective Erik Oliver, Detective Dan Campos and Officer Joe Deorian.
Hill, who headed the department’s Youth Services Division, was fired for having oral sex with Guap at her home and sexting with her.
The scandal began after the suicide of Brendan O’Brien (left) who killed himself in 2015 after Guap contacted police to expose him. The pair had slept together when she was 17
‘I thought I was just a special guy,’ he told internal affairs investigators. ‘I just thought that she maybe liked cops, maybe was a cop groupie, and wanted to just interact with me sexually.’
Tong was also fired for having oral sex with Guap, and then lying about knowing that she was a prostitute.
The city moved to fire Jackson for having sexual relations with Guap while on duty and in uniform, but on appeal he was allowed to keep his job with lower pay. He has since retired.
Rood, who was the head of the Regulatory Unit overseeing medical marijuana dispensaries, was demoted for exchanging sexually explicit messages with Guap after she reached out to him on social media.
‘I have never had anyone just message me and say I wanna f*k you in a hotel,’ he told investigators. ‘So yeah, I made a poor judgment, I should not have met with her, but I did because I wanted to make sure she understood that I was not interested.’
Guap alleged that she had had sex with dozens of police officers from seven departments. She successfully sued the city of Oakland and was awarded nearly $1million in May 2017
Like Rood, Moreno also lost a rank after allegedly having sex with Guap off duty and sharing information with her about a sexual assault involving a friend of hers.
Deorian was reprimanded for using his personal cellphone to ‘sext’ with Guap after she solicited him on Facebook and sent him nude selfies.
Oliver was disciplined for what has been described by the department as his ‘inappropriate and unbecoming’ decision to swap ‘sexts’ with Guap, ask her for nude photos and visit her home.
Campos was handed a letter of reprimand after investigators found that he discussed a sexual fantasy of his with the teen using his work phone, and told her about a prostitution sting, according to the documents.
The scandal first came to light in September 2015 when an Oakland police officer committed suicide and left a note implicating several of his fellow officers.
The allegations against the officers prompted the firing of several from different law enforcement agencies across the Bay Area.
Guap successfully sued the city of Oakland and was awarded nearly $1million in May 2017.
Later that year, she sued Richmond, claiming that officers on the city’s police force traded police protection for sex while she was underage.
Guap was an ‘exclusively department retained sex worker’ for the officers, ‘available to them for sexual favors and pleasure in exchange for paid monies, protection, or other forms of consideration,’ according to the complaint.
Richmond Police Chief Bisa French said on Thursday that the officers’ conduct described in the newly released disciplinary records was ‘completely unacceptable.’
French took over the department in July. His predecessor, Allwyn Brown, resigned last year after a vote of no-confidence from staff.