Friday, 29 Sep 2023

Denver police officer demoted for sexual comments toward 19-year-old cadet

A Denver police officer who made sexual comments toward a teenage cadet during a ride-along will serve a 30-day suspension and was demoted for behavior that was a “flagrant violation” of department policy.

Richard Harvey was demoted from technician to officer after a 19-year-old cadet reported that he made sexual comments while working together during the 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Marade, according to a Department of Public Safety disciplinary letter.

Harvey told her that everyone at the department had sex with each other and, after she told him she was Christian, he asked her whether she would wait until marriage to lose her virginity, according to the cadet’s interview described in the disciplinary letter.

Harvey, who was 50 years old at the time of the ridealong, also told her that she was attractive enough to get any guy in the department and said he was “down to have fun,” the cadet said.

The cadet, who is not named in the letter, said she didn’t say anything to Harvey at the time because he was armed and she was alone with him in a vehicle. She also feared being accused of lying.

“Cadet A said she was of the mindset that she should just ‘get used to it’ because these kinds of things happen to women in police departments,” Chief Compliance Officer Mary Dulacki wrote in the disciplinary letter.

In an interview with internal affairs investigators, Harvey said he told her that officers often got in trouble for issues related to sex and gave an explicit example. He said he told the cadet that everyone in the department was having an affair because he wanted to warn her. He admitted to telling the cadet that he previously had an affair with his car partner.

Harvey said he told the cadet she was attractive and that he said he was “always down to have fun,” but denied that he was trying to solicit a sexual relationship with her. He also confirmed he asked whether she was a virgin. He said he didn’t think his actions were problematic at the time and was trying to “enlighten an inquisitive mind,” the letter states.

“Technician Harvey’s comments were unprofessional and do not honorably reflect upon the Department,” Dulacki wrote. “It is depressing to think that in 2023, a young female cadet believes she needs to tolerate such behavior to succeed as a woman in a police department.”

A Denver police officer was fired in 2019 for a similar sexual harassment case involving a civilian intern. During a ride-along, the former officer called the woman “the hot blonde intern” and said she would make good money as a prostitute.

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