SDPD chief: Another cop under investigation for misconduct - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

SDPD chief: Another cop under investigation for misconduct

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Another San Diego Police Department officer is being investigated for allegedly touching a female suspect and exposing himself to her, Chief William Lansdowne said Wednesday night.

The officer, who works out of the SDPD Southern Division, was placed on a paid suspension status after a woman came forward Feb. 12 and originally identified Christopher Hays as the officer that assaulted her.

An internal investigation determined Officer Hays was nowhere near the woman at the time of the alleged incident nearly one year ago. Internal affairs investigators found a different officer transported the alleged victim.

The woman had been arrested on a vehicle theft charge in the South Bay area and was being transported to the Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee at the time of the alleged incident.

Chief Lansdowne said he would not identify the officer involved, because the investigation is in its preliminary stages and the officer has not been charged with a crime.

Internal affairs detectives are now in the process of interviewing all the women the 6-year-veteran officer has had contact with.

This is the second SDPD officer currently being investigated for misconduct. Officer Hays pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony and misdemeanor sexual misconduct charges involving four women.

In response to this latest accusation, Lansdowne announced a new department-wide policy that will require at least two officers be in the vehicle when any female arrestee is transported to jail.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. For an earlier story, read below.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - A San Diego police officer facing criminal charges for allegedly groping and illegally detaining women resigned from his law enforcement job Wednesday.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Christopher Hays, 30, "no longer works for the San Diego Police Department," SDPD public-affairs Lt. Kevin Mayer said. "At this time, this is the only statement the department will be making regarding this issue."

On Tuesday, Hays' attorney Kerry Armstrong added that his client would resign because he feels hurt that his police chief isn't supporting him even though he has said that he is not guilty.

"He denies everything. He denies that he ever did anything improper to any of these women. He does remember some of the women by having contact with them in the past, but he's adamant that he never groped them or definitely not have oral sex with them or them on him. So, he's just adamant that he's done nothing wrong here," continued Armstrong.

Hays entered a not guilty plea in court Tuesday where he was officially charged with two counts of false imprisonment and three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. If convicted, Hays faces up to three years and eight months in prison.

The charges involve incidents surrounding four women who say Hays touched them inappropriately while he was on the job as a San Diego police officer. The DA's office is still investigating claims from two other women who allege inappropriate touching, including one who says she was forced to perform a sex act on Hays in his patrol car or, she says, he threatened to take her to jail.

With his resignation, Hays will spend time helping his lawyer with his case. To earn a living, his attorney says he will lean on his background in construction and home repair work for the time being.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 22.

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