News

Investigation into SLOPD sergeant's sexual assault comments ongoing

by

comment

More than a month after one of its sergeants made controversial comments about sexual assault to a New Times reporter, the San Luis Obispo Police Department is still reviewing the incident for possible disciplinary action.

SLOPD Capt. Chris Staley confirmed that the department had not concluded a review of Sgt. Chad Pfarr, who drew criticism after stating in a Oct. 12 New Times article about sexual assault at Cal Poly that some rape allegations were "conjured up" by students who blacked out after consuming too much alcohol.

ONGOING REVIEW One month after a SLO police sergeant's comments about sexual assault ignited public criticism, the SLO Police Department is still reviewing the incident. - PHOTO BY CHRIS MCGUINNESS
  • Photo By Chris Mcguinness
  • ONGOING REVIEW One month after a SLO police sergeant's comments about sexual assault ignited public criticism, the SLO Police Department is still reviewing the incident.

"We are still looking into this matter," Staley wrote in a Nov. 13 email response to questions from New Times.

The department previously indicated that it had a recording of Pfarr's conversation with New Times, and would review all the evidence before making a decision. If the statements Pfarr made were inconsistent with policy, the department said, it would require "appropriate training and/or corrective action."

In October, Staley told New Times that the process could take "a couple of weeks" but did not give a specific timeline.

Even when the review is completed, it is unlikely that the public will know what, if any, action the department may take in regards to Pfarr.

"Since this is a personnel matter, we will not be able to share any actions that could be taken when this concludes," Staley wrote.

California's public records law exempts personnel records from public disclosure, according to SLO City Attorney Christine Dietrick. In addition, California law also specifically exempts peace officers' personnel and disciplinary records, and any information obtained from them, from public disclosure.

"We cannot disclose confidential information from the personnel file or any documents from the file itself," Dietrick wrote in an email response to questions from New Times.

Those records, however, could be obtained via a court order.

While the department continues its review, it remains unclear whether Pfarr still has any role in current sexual assault investigations. In October, the department declined to say if Pfarr was still working as an investigative sergeant, stating the information was privileged. As of Nov. 13, the SLOPD's website still listed Pfarr as an investigations sergeant on its police management contacts page.

According to FBI crime statistics, the SLO Police Department handled the bulk of the county's rape cases in 2016. The department reported a total of 39 rapes last year, roughly 38 percent of the 102 total rapes in SLO County that year, according to the latest data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Δ


Tags

Add a comment