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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Retired Oakland Cop Faces Solicitation Charge

MARTINEZ, Calif. (CN) — Prosecutors said Friday that a retired Oakland police captain will be charged in an ongoing sex scandal that rocked the city's police department this summer and implicated law-enforcement agencies in the Bay Area.

The 81-year-old former captain, who has not yet been named, will be charged with one misdemeanor count of solicitation in a scandal involving a teenaged former prostitute named Jasmine Abuslin, according to Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson.

The impending charge was announced at a news conference Friday morning.

Peterson said both the retired captain and Abuslin, who also went by the name Celeste Guap, admitted to the solicitation during an investigation that spanned 19 interviews by six law-enforcement agencies.

Prosecutors declined to name the captain because the charge has not yet been filed. Peterson said his office expects to file the charge next week.

No other officers will be charged for alleged crimes that occurred in Contra Costa County, including officers with the San Francisco and Richmond police departments, in part because Abuslin stated that those sexual encounters occurred after she turned 18, were consensual and did not involve prostitution.

"According to Ms. Abuslin's own statements, there were no crimes," Peterson said. "Lest someone think our office doesn't want to file [charges] against police officers, we file against police officers when it warrants it."

He added that Abuslin's statements would make it difficult to convince a jury that a crime had occurred.

Peterson's announcement comes two months after Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announced charges against seven Bay Area officers for alleged crimes that occurred in Alameda County involving Abuslin.

The allegations that Bay Area officers trafficked the underage girl came to light in a suicide note written by Oakland Police Officer Brendan O'Brien. Once they became public in June, Oakland saw three police chiefs toppled in nine days as Mayor Libby Schaff strained to bring the lurching department under control.

Peterson said Friday that former Contra Costa Sheriff's Deputy Ricardo Perez will not face charges because it is "impossible to determine" whether his sexual encounter with Abuslin in Contra Costa County occurred before she turned 18.

Oakland Police Officer Terryl Smith will also not face charges in Contra Costa for having sex with Abuslin because the encounters didn't constitute a crime, Peterson said.

Allegations that Smith gave Abuslin a bag of Cheetos in exchange for sex - which would constitute an act of prostitution - could not be substantiated, he said.

Alameda County prosecutors charged Smith on Thursday with five misdemeanor counts of accessing private information on law enforcement databases between January and April and giving it to Abuslin.

Smith is set to be arraigned on Nov. 18

On Friday, Peterson denied that his office helped send Abuslin to a Florida drug rehab facility to obstruct investigations in the Bay Area.

"I think I've outlined very clearly that Ms. Abuslin went to Florida of her own volition," he said. "There was no objection or protest from any law enforcement agency or DA's office to...her travel to Florida. It was well known since July 2016 she wanted to go to Florida."

DA O'Malley had expressed disappointment in Abuslin's trip to Florida at a September news conference, and critics accused Peterson's office and the Richmond Police Department of witness tampering.

"I think there was some motivation on her part to get away from all this media attention and go somewhere else," Peterson said.

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