OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A fourth Oakland police officer has been criminally charged in connection with a sprawling police sexual exploitation scandal that has been growing over the last year, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Terryl Smith, 30, of Citrus Heights is the sixth of seven law enforcement officers expected to face criminal charges in the case in Alameda County. District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced nearly two months ago that Smith would face criminal charges, but he wasn’t charged until Thurday.
He faces five misdemeanor counts of unauthorized furnishing of a local criminal record for accessing law enforcement databases five times between January and April and turning over information to the now 19-year-old woman at the center of the scandal, informing her about her criminal record.
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Smith’s first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 18 in Fremont.
In a news conference in September, O’Malley said that she had also uncovered evidence that Smith had sexual contact with the woman, an apparent victim of human trafficking, but those incidents happened in Contra Costa County, outside of O’Malley’s jurisdiction.
Contra Costa County prosecutors have called a news conference for 11 a.m. on Friday to discuss the case, but have not said whether they plan to file any additional charges.
Oakland police have been investigating the scandal for over a year now, since Officer Brendan O’Brien killed himself in September. Days after his suicide, police first interviewed the woman, who alleged that she had sex with several police officers while she was underage.
In addition to the criminal charges, 11 Richmond police officers and a total of 12 Oakland police officers have faced internal discipline. Richmond police Chief Allwyn Brown said in September that none of his officers’ conduct was criminal.
The investigation has also spread to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the federal Defense Logistics Agency and the San Francisco Police Department. Former Oakland police Capt. Ricardo Orozco was fired from his job as an investigator with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office when it was revealed he’d had online contact with the woman.
Aside from Smith, three other current and former Oakland police officers have been charged with crimes as well as a former Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy and a former Livermore police officer.
Contra Costa County sheriff’s Deputy Ricardo Perez has been charged with oral copulation with a minor and two counts of engaging in lewd conduct. Perez resigned in July and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was released on his own recognizance.
Oakland police Officer Giovanni LoVerde has been charged with felony oral copulation with a minor. He pleaded not guilty and his bail was set at $20,000.
Former Livermore Officer Dan Black, who resigned a day before the charges were announced, has been charged with two counts of engaging in lewd conduct, two counts of engaging in prostitution and one count of giving alcohol to a minor. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and posted $12,500 bail.
Retired Oakland police Sgt. Leroy Johnson is charged with failure to report child abuse and made his first court appearance this week. Oakland Officer Brian Bunton has been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, pleaded not guilty and posted $12,500 bail.
A fifth Oakland police officer, Warit Uttapa, is expected to face a single charge of knowingly conducting a search of official criminal justice computer systems without an authorized purpose, but prosecutors have not yet filed charges against him.
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