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State Attorney Sends Report on “Officers Engaging in Sex” to Lakeland Police
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Last Tuesday, 10th Judicial Circuit State Attorney, Jerry Hill, sent a 55-page report to Lisa Womack, the Lakeland Police Chief. The report observed that a large number of officers in the Lakeland Police Department, while on duty, regularly sought sex, had sex, and at least in two instances were accused of rape. The report was on an investigation on “officers engaging in sex acts,” on duty.

The State Attorney’s report enumerates instances of on duty police officers of the Lakeland Police Department having sex at diverse environments and occasions.

They had sex in a closet in the Lakeland Police Department, they also had sex on a desk at the department, they had sex in city buildings, they had sex in police cars, they had sex at city parks, and at least in one occasion they had sex in a shuttered church building.

  
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After the funeral reception of Officer Arnulfo Crispin, who was shot on duty, to drown their sorrow at the loss of a fellow police officer, they had sex in the parking lot of The Lakeland Center.

The report observes that the cellphones of at least 10 Lakeland Police Officers were frequently used to send photos of their sexual organs to the cellphone of Sue Eberle, a civilian criminal analyst working at the department.

Besides the 10 officers identified by the State Attorney in the report, more than 20 officers and employees of the department and also a reserve police officer are accused of either having sex with Sue, or making sexual suggestions while on duty.

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The investigation found that things had been going on for the last eight years.

In a particular instance, when officer Steve Sherman was having sex with Sue in a shuttered down church building, Sherman’s sergeant came across and identified Sue’s sport utility vehicle and Sherman’s police car parked outside the church. Sherman was on duty at the time.



Jeff Gary, Sherman’s sergeant reported the matter and it started an internal investigation. The investigation was handed over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, following which Sherman resigned.

The report reads, “During the internal investigation, Eberle was untruthful about the nature of her relationship with Sherman and was facing discipline or termination. Eberle then came forward and amended her previous statements about her relationship with Sherman and admitted to sexual relations with Sherman while he was on duty. Eberle also made new allegations about sexual liaisons with many other officers at LPD, both on duty and off.”

However, the investigation found that Sue Eberle had a troubled childhood and felt intimidated as a civilian in a police department. She acceded to the behavior of the officers and did not report to anyone because she felt that the police always protect their own, and as a civilian she may not be believed. She also wanted to protect the officers and their families. But during the investigation, she felt abandoned and wanted to come forward with her complaints.

There was another civilian criminal analyst Tiffany Dwyer who left amidst the internal investigation. The report shows she confirmed what Sue Eberle said and that many of the same officers also tried to approach her. There were some consensual sex encounters while on duty, but mostly she said no to the officers. At least one officer tried to get her into a closet to have sex, though she was able to wriggle out of that particular predicament.

Sue Eberle’s accusations against the officers were largely accurate. In a passage of the two-page letter accompanying the report, the State Attorney told the LPD Police Chief, “Had these members of your department been more focused on the important responsibilities of law enforcement, rather than pursuing sexual encounters with a civilian analyst, the LPD might not be in the condition it is today.”



 

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