A young girl was just 12-years-old when she was forced into the sex trade by pimps, then she went to the police for help but instead of aiding her, they proceeded to do the exact same thing to her later on in her life. That’s not the shocking part according to the legal complaint more than 30 officers were involved and many were never punished.
Here’s a refresher on the case which is several years old. In 2016, Celeste Guap claimed to have had sex with officers of the law and that some of these three officers were when she was underage – just 16 years old.
The irony of all this, she was the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher. Guap alleged that she had had sex with dozens of police officers from seven departments, including — Richmond, Oakland, Livermore, Contra Costa County and Alameda County.
She said some of her sexual encounters with officers happened while she was underage. Several officers were terminated as a result of an investigation, and several were charged criminally. However, some kept their jobs as is the case with six Richmond PD officiers as the Dailymail reports.
In exchange for the sex some officers gave her protection and tipped her off about undercover prostitution sting operations in text messages.
“A lot knew I was underage because they nicknamed me ‘juve,’ which is short for juvenile,” Guap said at the time.
A sex scandal that started just involving the Oakland police department, has spread across east bay California to several police departments, including the Richmond Police Department, San Francisco Police Department, and Stockton Police Department.
More than two dozen officers are implicated in the investigation that was started after Officer Brendan O’Brien committed suicide and left a suicide note that stated several officers lied in the first internal investigation about their relationships with prostitute Celeste Guap. O’Brien was one of two other officers accused of having sex with Guap when she was underage at 16. O`Brien is also suspected of murdering his wife — investigators called her death suspicious.
First, the scandal caused police chief Shaun Whent of Oakland PD to resign because 14 of his officers were allegedly involved.
A few of those other law enforcement officials were High-ranking Richmond police officers and five other officers who exchanged explicit messages with the teen. All officers were reprimanded in writing however many kept their jobs, after being involved in criminal behavior that would get most people years in prison. What’s more, is the positions of power some of these officers held to protect children.
For example, former Lt. Andre Hill who was running the Richmond police department’s Youth Service Division when he came across Celeste Guap in 2015. In 2017, two years later Hill was fired after it was discovered that for years, he sent the teen sexually explicit messages and engaged in oral sex with her at least once. Hill was later fired for having oral sex with Guap at her home and sexting with her.
But Hill was never charged and is currently attempting to get his job back. Fast-forward back to 2020, as part of a settlement agreement stemming from a lawsuit over SB 1421, the 2019 police transparency law, records of the other officers’ “discipline” were released.
According to a report out of the Mercury News,
Records released Wednesday for the first time publicly identify four Richmond officers disciplined for their involvement with the Richmond teenager, known as Celeste Guap.
Most notably is Lt. Felix Tan, who was the chief of staff to then-Chief Allwyn Brown. As a public information officer, Tan helped craft the department’s messaging as the scandal ricocheted from the Oakland Police Department to Richmond.
Documents released by the City of Richmond on Wednesday indicate, of the 11 officers who were implicated in the sex scandal, three were kicked off the force, six were given letters of reprimand and two quit before being subjected to punishment, reported KQED.
If Hill being involved in the Youth Service Division and abusing a minor wasn’t enough. Tan was issuing the police department’s response to the officers who sexted a trafficked teen. While at the same time simultaneously he was also involved in abusing her too. You cannot make this up! When another officer asked Tan about the messages, he had no problem admitting to them, saying “Of course I made some comments because I’m a guy.”
Apparently being male excludes you from criminal charges of endangering and sexting with a minor.
Tan and Hill are among the highest-ranking officials in any of the departments and now we have the names of multiple other cops. Mercury News goes on to detail further officers involved.
“In interviews with this news organization in 2016, Guap named five officers she claimed to have a relationship with: Lt. Hill, Sgt. Armando Moreno, Sgt. Mike Rood, Officer Jarred Tong and Officer Terrance Jackson. This organization typically does not name victims of sexual assault or trafficking, but did so after Guap (who uses an assumed name) had spoken out publicly in the case.
The new records confirm the names of three other officers: Detective Sgt. Erik Oliver, Detective Daniel Campos, and Officer Joe Deorian, who all received written reprimands for sexually explicit messaging with Guap.”
None of the officers mentioned above by Mercury News were charged nor were they fired. This is a monumentous problem that needs to be fixed.
When the young girl went to police to get help for being trafficked by pimps, she was actually being brought into a depraved circle of cops from multiple departments who would continue to abuse her.
As the Washington Post reported, instead of helping her, at 17 more than 30 law enforcement officers “continued to traffic, rape, victimize and exploit a teenage girl who needed to be rescued,” according to a legal claim filed with the Oakland city attorney’s office. “Instead of helping [the teen] find a way out of exploitation, they furthered and deepened her spiral down into the sex trade,” the claim continued.
That’s not the end of it though, some of these officers were promoted after this incident as if it didn’t happen…
The Oakland police department held a secret ceremony in a church in 2017 where it honored several of the officers at the ceremony who were the same ones involved in covering up, mishandling, or otherwise participating in the sex-crimes against Guap.
As the East Bay Express reported at the time, two dozen protesters picketed the ceremony at the church’s entrance, accusing Mayor Libby Schaaf and the department of rewarding officers who should instead be punished.
“They seem to be resisting change,” said Gwen Hardy, a longtime Oakland resident who has been involved in efforts to reform the OPD since the 1980s, according to the Express. Hardy said the Coalition for Police Accountability, which spearheaded the creation of the city’s new police commission, met with Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick earlier this year. Kirkpatrick told the activists she wouldn’t hesitate to discipline, and even fire, bad cops. “But why promote them?” Hardy asked.
Roland Holmgren one of the officers honored at the ceremony for his recent promotion to captain, was one of the dozens of cops referred to in a special court investigator’s report as having mishandled the Celeste Guap case, in which multiple Oakland cops raped and trafficked a young woman and illegally accessed department records, among other crimes, according to the Express.
Several other officers, including Capt. Kirk Coleman who now runs the Internal Affairs Division were in attendance. Coleman was also involved in the sex trafficking cover-up and named in the report for failing to notify the District Attorney about the criminal behavior of the officers in the case.
The public became aware of the investigation after Guap went public and the investigation revealed a massive conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse by dozens of California cops involved within multiple departments. The question that needs to be asked is, how many other police departments are like this in big cities where crime rings run amok, trafficking children, or child trafficking is turned a blind eye? We know that at least one other department across the country in Miami turned a blind eye to the sickest most depraved child trafficker who ever lived Jeffrey Epstein. So how often does this go un-noticed or ignored by authorities and just swept under the rug as if nothing happened?