Sean Harrington: Cop Accused Of Stealing Nude Pics After Woman’s DUI Arrest In California

October 24, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Sean Harrington, the cop accused of stealing 6 nude pictures of a female DUI suspect might be charged with felony computer theft. The California Highway Patrol officer has been put on desk duty as authorities investigate the matter. Harrington’s crime has prompted prosecutors to drop the charges against the woman.

sean harrington cop accused

Sean Harrington, the cop accused of illegally accessing the very private content of a suspect’s phone, could be charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

On August 29th, at around midnight, California Highway Patrol officer, Sean Harrington and another unnamed cop pulled over a 23-year-old woman after she was witnessed making unsafe lane change on Interstate 680 near Crow Canyon Road.

The San Ramon woman aka Jane Doe appeared to be drunk, which lead to the cops requesting that she takes sobriety tests. Her blood alcohol level was measured at .29 percent and she was arrested, charged with DUI and taken to the County Jail in Martinez.

Jane Doe was later released and given a court date. On September 3rd, while browsing her iCloud account, she discovered that 6 of her nude pictures were transferred to another phone with the 707 area code, the night she was in police custody.

Jane Doe did a little detective work and found out that the phone number belonged to Sean Harrington. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, which has been investigating the matter found a video showing officer Harrington asking Jane Doe to write down the password to her phone on a piece of paper while she was in custody.

The police officer needed to access her phone in order to get the number of someone, she wanted to call. Harrington forwarded 6 private pictures to himself, and apparently shared them with other officers.

Jane Doe’s lawyer Rick Madsen said his client never authorized her arresting officer to go through her pictures. The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office have searched Harrington’s home, removed several laptops, cellphone, and an iPad.

According to investigators, Sean Harrington’s cellphone and laptop contained private photos, text messages and instant messages from the cellphone of the DUI suspect.

Prosecutors dropped the DUI case against Jane Do due to Harrington’s actions. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is recommending that the 35-year-old CHP Officer be charged with felony computer theft.

Officer Sean Harrington has been put on desk duty as the investigation continues.

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Comments (17)

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  1. WhatACop says:

    A billion nude pictures out there and this dumb cop needed those?

  2. Absurd says:

    She should still be prosecuted. She broke the law! She’s lucky she didn’t kill anyone, the County just doesn’t want her suing. Guess what? She probably will anyway!

    • JD says:

      He was the arresting officer. How would you prove she’s guilty other than by calling the soon-to-be former cop who committed a felony just to try to see her naked. Can his word be taken seriously? Can you still get beyond reasonable doubt?

      No, and can you imagine the DA still having a job if other women start claiming the officer tends to arrest attractive women as a shakedown tactic? Whether true or not, there is a tendency to dog-pile once something like this goes public, and every officer has a lot of people in his background looking for that opportunity.

      • David says:

        Good call! What most of the comments are concerned about is punishing DUIs but, as you put it, it’s much more complex than that because of the actions of the arresting officer.

      • Seattle says:

        Correct.

        No way you get a guilty verdict b/c of the morality of the officer being in question.

        All of the evidence comes from the officer and that will be “fruits of a poison tree” and in admissible.

        No evidence = no guilty verdict.

        Beyond that, they will want to get this resolved asap without public record going into it too much or every previously prosecuted criminal will start demanding justice b/c their cases must have been tainted too.

        Not worth it.

        It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about money/motives/politics.

        I live in the worst DUI spot in Washington and they want the money for the DUI’s not to help stop DUI’s.

        They would park outside the 8 or 9 bars and chat with partiers as they leave to guide them to cabs and not driving instead of parking in force on the 3 roads going out of town to pull people over continually (for swerving, obscured light, touching bike lane and other bs tactics).

  3. Protect The Citizens says:

    This is a DUI driver….. the cop broke the law….. he is a thief and needs to go to jail………..

    Did I forget to say that she was a DUI driver? Let us fast forward this to….

    6 months from now she sues for undisclosed amount of money and wins!

    15 months from now she drives over a 6 year old boy on his bike while she is driving drunk and kills him instantly. (Why is she driving?)

    • Renee says:

      I couldn’t agree more with you!!!!! This is horrible!!!!!

    • MitchN60 says:

      Obviously she’s driving because she’s celebrating all the money she got from the lawsuit 9 months prior! And now she’s drunk as a skunk and she’s seeing double and can’t decide which one to miss, so what the Hell, lets just take ’em both out! (I know, a little dramatic, I get that way sometimes!) I still think she should be hammered, (Get it?), for the DUI, though. They have seem to have enough evidence without testimony from the officer.

  4. Renee says:

    yes, what the officer did was wrong. I’m a paralegal and we take DUI cases daily. No matter what the officer did should let a woman with a .29 blood alcohol level go! They should BOTH be punished for their behavior. What message does that send that just because an officer acts like an ass we let a woman who would be looking at a FELONY DUI go???? She could have killed someone and now will only benefit from it! Discusting!

    • JD says:

      Cops lie quite frequently in police reports. They have a habit of exaggerating, and painting a one-sided picture to avoid litigation over false arrest and reduce the chance of a trial, where the officer’s credibility may be questioned.

      Working as a paralegal for a defense firm I would hope you know this, and don’t automatically credit police allegations as true. I would also think as a defense firm you would be ready to impeach the credibility of the officer in a case like this. It doesn’t take a brilliant attorney to realize the officer had motives other than law and order for making the arrest in the first place.

    • EBB says:

      Working as a paralegal at a firm that takes DUI cases daily you would know a DUI can only reach felony status if one of the following three factors are in play. 1)You caused an injury or death 2)You have had three or more prior DUI convictions within a ten year period 3)You have any prior felony DUI convictions. There is nothing in this article that indicates any of these aggravating circumstances are involved.

      Aside from that I agree that she should have still been charged. If she chooses to take legal action in regard to the officer’s wrong doing that should be a whole other matter all and in itself. His actions do not excuse her lack of lawful behavior.

  5. Good Day says:

    A long, long time ago we wanted our police to be our hero’s instead of our dread.

    Now he goes to jail for stealing someone’s personal and very private life – typical millennial – and a humiliated drunk driver gets off because the cop wanted to get off.

  6. Donkey says:

    Californians’ tax dollars at work. Now CA would have to prosecute a DUI where their main witness and investigator was primarily after nudes of the accused…if half the jurors are women and the men on the jury respect women there’s no way to convict this.

    IMO this cop not only needs to do the hard time anyone of us would do for the same crime but he also needs to be on the sexual predators roles so he doesn’t just move to another state and do the same thing.

    -Hee Haw-

  7. rich says:

    this is our tax dollars at work.a cop getting paid to steal naked pictures off someones phone

  8. jimbob says:

    cop ain’t nothing but criminals get him the chair


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