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Monday, November 28, 2011

Cop Suspected of Having Sex With High School Girl

NPD cop suspected of having sex with high school girl
Nogales International by Manuel C. Coppola - November 25, 2011

A 24-year-old Nogales police officer is under investigation for sexual conduct with a minor after officials at Nogales High School tipped off the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office about talk heard on campus. Authorities withheld the officer’s name pending formal charges. He has been placed on suspension. “Our officers take an oath, and if they violate that oath, they will be held accountable,” said Nogales Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham. In May 2010, 29-year-old NPD Officer Mariano Garibay was arrested after authorities learned that he had been having sex with a 16-year-old member of the department’s Explorers program. Garibay eventually pleaded guilty to three of 11 counts of sexual conduct with a minor, and in February 2011, Judge James A. Soto sentenced him to two years and three months in prison. “It’s the same thing over again,” said County Attorney George Silva. “You would think that after the Garibay prosecution and subsequent prison sentence that (law enforcement officers) would get the message. “It’s hard to understand. Otherwise this young officer seemed to be coming along and doing all the right things” on the police force, Silva said. He explained that the 17-year-old alleged victim spoke to other students about the affair and eventually, word reached school officials. By law, they are required to inform law enforcement. Silva said sheriff investigators have served a warrant on the officer’s home and conducted other aspects of the investigation. But because they were called out to a triple homicide in the Tumacacori Mountains, they have been unavailable to brief him on their findings. “Our office needs to know all the particulars,” he said. “In sex crimes, the specific acts committed determine what kinds of charges are filed. But once we have all of that, I can assure you he will be charged.”

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