Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ex-Glendale officer barred from state law enforcement

A former Glendale officer accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to teenage girls and sexually abusing one of them is now barred from police work in Arizona.

The state Peace Officer Standards and Training Board on Wednesday voted to revoke Christopher Balmaceda's certification to serve as an Arizona officer.

Balmaceda, a 3 1/2-year officer, resigned from the Glendale Police Department in April.

Maricopa County prosecutors opted not to pursue a criminal case against him.

For two years, the married father worked off-duty at Mountain Ridge High school twice a month, usually providing security during the day. Balmaceda was removed from the job and assigned to administrative tasks in late January after a parent told police that his daughter's friends had received suggestive text messages from Balmaceda.

Mountain Ridge students told police that the 25-year-old officer sent at least four female students, ages 15 to 17, text messages from his personal cellphone.

Records obtained by investigators showed Balmaceda sent 3,600 text messages to five female students from September 2010 through January, according to an internal probe.

Detectives began a criminal investigation after a 17-year-old said Balmaceda had kissed and touched her one night in January after she met him at an abandoned Bashas' store in north Glendale while he was on duty.

Balmaceda admitted to police investigators that he had sent "numerous sexually explicit text messages" to the high-school students and that he had an encounter with the 17-year-old, according to a Glendale police report.

Balmaceda did not speak to detectives investigating potential criminal matters.

Police recommended Balmaceda be charged with one count of sexual abuse and four counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office later decided not to charge against Balmaceda, saying there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction. The county spokesman cited two reasons: the 17-year-old victim's comments that she was trying to get information from Balmaceda to report his wrongdoing and a cellphone provider couldn't provide the text messages Balmaceda sent.

In addition, Balmaceda's reported admissions during an administrative interview could not be mentioned in court due to federal laws, a county attorney's spokesman said.

No comments:

Post a Comment