CHP Officer resigning over nude cellphone photo scandal; DA to press charges

MARTINEZ, Calif. -- Officer Sean Harrington, the Dublin CHP officer under investigation for allegedly sending nude photos of a DUI suspect from her phone to his own, has resigned.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office also filed felony charges against Harrington on Friday.

The charges resulted from an investigation into allegations that Harrington had illegally searched the cell phones of female arrestees and then transmitted personal photos of the women from their phones to Harrington's personal cell phone.

The investigation was led by the District Attorney's Office in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol's Golden Gate Division.

According to our media partner, the Contra Costa Times, court documents suggest that officer Harrington confessed to stealing explicit photos on several occasions.

Harrington, 5-year CHP veteran, says the photo scandal was part of an ongoing game among officers, however, the District Attorney's Office will not be filing criminal charges against any other CHP officer.

The DA's office says the first incident occurred in Livermore on August 6th, 2014 when a 19 year-old woman was arrested for felony DUI. While she was being treated at a local hospital, Harrington allegedly searched her phone and sent private photos from her cell phone to his.

The second incident occurred on August 29th, 2014 when Harrington arrested a woman in San Ramon for DUI, and she was then booked into the Martinez Detention Facility. After she was released from custody, she learned that her phone had been searched while she was in jail, and that several of her personal photos had been sent to Harrington's personal cell phone. The woman's attorney then notified the DA's Office.

"She's tremendously distraught," said Rick Madsen, the attorney for the young woman pulled over by Officer Harrington on August 29. He claims his client has been traumatized by this invasion of her privacy.

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