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11-19-06, 10:29 PM #1
Portland Police Officer resigns after admitting he asked woman to show their undewear
A Portland police officer pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of official misconduct for asking two women to show him their underwear during a traffic stop in July.
In a plea bargain, John Alexander Wood, 31, agreed to resign, have his police certification revoked immediately and face two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer said in a news conference that she was disturbed to learn of the allegations and praised the complaint and review system that acted swiftly to investigate.
The two women reported the incident to police July 26, five days after it happened. Police encouraged the women to file a complaint with the Independent Police Review Division. After the women did so, detectives began a separate investigation and Wood was placed on paid administrative leave. Wood was hired as a Portland police officer in January 2003 and was working as a district patrol officer at the time of the incident.
In the course of investigation, detectives contacted a third woman who also said that Wood asked her repeatedly to show him a tattoo on her groin.
"Community members should be able to trust sworn police officers," Sizer said. "It is my hope that the community will view this as the isolated case it was."
The Oregonian is not naming the two victims.
In a hearing Monday afternoon before Multnomah County Circuit Judge Jean Kerr Maurer, one of the women, who is from Spokane and in her early 20s, spoke of how the traffic stop plagues her every day.
"I have trouble sleeping, and I am still unable to drive at night alone," the woman said, reading from a prepared statement. "Every time I see a law enforcement official, I feel as though I can't breathe and I start to feel nauseous."
Wood wrote letters of apology to the two women, who read them after the hearing, said their attorney, John Allison.
The women told detectives they had spoken with Wood as they were leaving Dukes, a nightclub in East Portland, in the early morning hours of July 21, according to interview records released by police. Wood was in the parking lot in a marked patrol car.
The women claim Wood pulled them over while they were driving home on Interstate 205 at about 3:15 a.m. and told them to lift their skirts and show him their underwear or he would take them to jail for driving under the influence. The women said that Wood also asked them if they had breast implants and if they shaved their pubic hair.
The women said they complied with Wood's requests and he concluded the stop without writing a ticket.
Wood initially denied all allegations in interviews with detectives, saying he had contact with the three women but had not made inappropriate demands.
Allison, the attorney, said Wood couldn't be charged with sexual assault because he didn't touch the women. But, Allison said, Wood made a "full and complete admission" of his crimes in his letter to the women.
In the second incident, which occurred shortly after the first, a woman said Wood approached her and her boyfriend while they were parked in a van outside Ventura Park at Southeast 113th and Pine streets, according to police interviews.
She said she showed Wood a tattoo on her groin three times after he asked to see it under threat she would go to jail for failing to have proper identification on her. The woman is now in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Center for an unrelated probation violation.
Wood is the second law enforcement officer to come under scrutiny recently for inappropriate demands during traffic stops.
A criminal investigation begun in November 2004 found that Multnomah County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Green asked several women he stopped to either lift their shirt up, remove their bra or unzip their pants while pretending he was searching for a suspect with a flower tattoo. The inquiry also showed Green lied about what he did when questioned by a supervisor.
Green remains on paid leave as the Oregon Department of Public Safety, Standards and Training board considers revoking his police certification. The Multnomah County district attorney's office also has renewed a criminal inquiry into Green's actions.
11-19-06, 10:31 PM #2
wow...SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING:
Lead is very hazardous to your health.
Always include Kevlar in your daily diet.
"I always believe in being prepared, even when I'm dressed in white tie and tails."
- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
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