DENVER (CN) – Aurora, Colo.’s former police Officer of the Year forced a 15-year-old girl to take nude photos of herself on his cell phone, the girl claims in court.
The girl and her guardian ad litem sued Aurora and Michael Anthony Mangino, in Federal Court.
Guardian ad litem Melissa Shirley claims Aurora knew that Mangino, a DARE cop, had “sexually deviant compulsions.”
At his sentencing, Mangino told the court that sexual deviance is a “widespread problem” in the Aurora Police Department, according to the complaint. Aurora was the scene of the midnight movie shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58 this July.
Mangino was Aurora’s police Officer of the Year in 2000.
The complaint states: “On March 9, 2011, Aurora Police Officer Michael Mangino (‘defendant Mangino’) transported a minor child only fifteen-years-of-age, CLM, to the Children’s Hospital wherein he stood outside a bathroom door while he induced, coerced, and forced her to take naked pictures of her body on his cellular phone. Thereafter, defendant Mangino viewed the photographs and maintained them on his cellular phone. After CLM was discharged from Children’s Hospital, defendant Mangino transported her to the Arapahoe County Juvenile Assessment Center (‘JAC) and released her into the custody of the JAC.”
In a footnote to the above paragraph, the complaint states: This Complaint and Jury Demand (‘Complaint’) is filed by Ms. Shirley on behalf of a minor child who was the victim of sexual exploitation by the defendant, Michael Mangino, in a criminal case in the State of Colorado. Defendant Mangino pled guilty. CLM’s true identity is being withheld from this Complaint in order to protect her as a minor child and the victim of sexual exploitation.”
Shirley adds: “The Aurora Police Department knew of defendant Mangino’s sexually deviant compulsions and were aware of the severe risks in permitting him to maintain a position of trust and authority over Aurora youth, but continued to employ defendant Mangino with the Aurora Police Department as a member of the Police Area Representatives Unit, and DARE officer in the Aurora Public School District.”
Before Mangino abused the girl CLM, “a complaint was filed with the Aurora Police department against defendant Mangino alleging that he had attempted to engage in sexually deviant behavior with an Aurora youth residing at Comitis Crisis Center in Aurora, Colorado,” the complaint states.
“Upon information and belief, a sergeant within the Aurora Police Department ignored the allegations and destroyed the complaint. No investigation was launched against defendant Mangino, and defendant Mangino was not disciplined in any way.”
Aurora police arrested CLM after responding to report of drugs in an apartment in March 2011, the complaint states. They found no drugs on her but sent her to a hospital for a drug test.
“Once inside of defendant Mangino’s police vehicle and while en route to the Children’s Hospital, defendant Mangino informed CLM that he liked to have photographs of all transport suspects so that he could remember them,” the complaint states.
“Defendant Mangino then promptly slipped his cellular phone through the cage of the police vehicle and asked CLM to take a picture. CLM interpreted this instruction to mean that she should take a picture of her face, and did so.
“Once inside Children’s Hospital, defendant Mangino told CLM that he needed additional photographs. Specifically, defendant Mangino advised CLM that he wanted ‘pussy’ and ‘boob’ shots.
“Defendant Mangino then escorted CLM to the nearest bathroom in the waiting room of the Children’s Hospital, unlocked his cellular phone, and handed it to CLM.
“Defendant Mangino then closed CLM in the bathroom and stood outside the door.
“Throughout the entire incident, defendant Mangino was in uniform, wearing his badge, and carrying his weapon. …
“Only when a Children’s Hospital Nurse called CLM’s name was CLM allowed to stop taking pictures of her naked body.”
Before releasing her to the juvenile detention center, Mangino told her, “If you do good, I will take you out to lunch,” according to the complaint.
CLM reported the assault and Mangino resigned from the Police Department. An investigation suggested that Mangino had a pattern of “sexually deviant” behavior, the girl’s guardian says.
“Additional footage was found on defendant Mangino’s cellular phone, including a photograph of one of his DARE students, who was bending over and unaware that she was being photographed,” according to the complaint.
At his sentencing in April, Mangino said in a statement that sexual misconduct was a “widespread problem” among Aurora police officers and administrators, according to the complaint.
The complaint states: “Sentencing was held on July 5, 2012, and defendant Mangino gave the following statement: ‘This sexual deviance has been a fabric in my life since about 16 years old. I had a family culture that promoted it, encouraged it. I saw examples of it. And as distorted as this might sound, I thought it was the correct thing to do. This is what a man does. Then I get into the police culture, specifically the Aurora, Colorado Police Department, which this is a wide-spread problem within that department. And is ultimately ignored by administrators, supervisors, largely because they are involved in similar sexual deviant activity. The only time it becomes a problem is when you get caught and the public gets a hold of it. Then they make it a huge issue.'”
The girl seeks damages for state-created danger, failure to train or supervise, and constitutional violations.
She is represented by David Lane with Killmer, Lane & Newman, of Denver.
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