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San Jose fire captain was part of 24 arrested in sting by undercover officers

The San Jose fire captain accused of sending lewd photos to someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl was one of the 24 people arrested in a sting conducted by undercover officers specifically targeting child predators.

The sting was spearheaded by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office.

While that investigation might be over, San Jose is still conducting its own criminal probe.

The sheriff’s office in Sacramento County released video of the sting that led to the arrest of 24 suspected child predators — including a postal worker, a Sunday school teacher, and former San Jose Fire Department Captain Spencer Parker.

“Suspects arranged to meet and have sexual contact with undercover officers,” Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper said.

Court documents show Parker is charged with three felonies, including attempted lewd acts with a child. A person he thought was a 13-year-old girl, who was actually an undercover cop.

“The crimes that are alleged here are absolutely disgusting,” said San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan.

The mayor would not say whether he still has confidence in the fire chief as the leader of the department.

“I happen to ask myself similar questions every day when I come to work. Do I have a vision for the organization? Do I have a plan to move us forward? Am I prepared to absorb the issues that come to my desk every day?” San Jose Fire Department Chief Robert Sapien told the Investigative Unit on the two major scandals under his watch. “This is an extremely difficult issue that came to my desk an dim here to process it appropriately. That means my full cooperation with law enforcement.”

While the Sacramento investigation might be over, San Jose police are still conducting their own criminal probe.

“We’ve asked the police department to initiate an investigation into all of his actions, communication, whatever we can learn about the his behavior within the department to make sure we know if anything else he’s done,” Mahan said.

“It’s important that San Jose PD gets to the bottom of this to see if there is anything else going on or whether this is limited to just one individual,” said legal analyst Steven Clark.

“I expect him to come forward with recommendations for additional training, or what else we need to do,” Mahan said.

Parker was put on leave on April 11 after his arrest, then resigned from the department the next day.

The sheriff in Sacramento says he’s thrilled his team could take 24 alleged predators off the streets.


Source: NBC Bay Area

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