AUBURN, WA – In Auburn, Washington, a former Auburn police officer pleaded guilty Monday to fondling a woman he had pulled over for a traffic violation and then accused of smoking marijuana.
John Michael Clemmons, 50, went down for a January 2012 incident in which he pulled over a 24-year-old woman who had pulled out of a bar parking lot. After following her to her home, where she parked her car, he had her take a field sobriety test, which she passed.
Clemmons handcuffed the woman in the back of his patrol car and told her she could be taken to jail, that he smelled marijuana, and that he needed to search her.
The woman said that while she was still handcuffed, he felt underneath her bra and clothing below her waist. She said he also used his flashlight to look inside her pants.
Clemmons then asked for her phone number and if he could enter her residence, then grabbed her buttocks when she said no.
The woman told him she felt that he may be trying to arrest her for prostitution or offering a sexual act, but he replied that he wouldn’t arrest her for that and said he was off duty.
Court records and a police statement, however, make clear he was on duty and in uniform. Clemmons did not record the stop or notify dispatch.
He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and two years deferred adjudication.
Auburn Police said in a release Monday that while probable cause did exist for the original traffic stop, Clemmons violated department regulations.
“The Auburn Police Department takes these complaints seriously and will not tolerate this sort of behavior.” police Comander Mike Hirman said in the statement, saying that the officers have been retrained on departmental standards and expectations since the incident.
“We want to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Hirman. ”We’ve taken steps to insure that officers understand that there are consequences to their actions and we want to make sure that their standards are as high as we expect them to be.”
Since the incident, Clemmons has resigned from the police departmenrt. As a result of his conviction must his certification and can not work in law enforcement.
WA: Ex-Cop Pleads Guilty to Fondling Woman Accused of Smoking Marijuana was written by Phillip Smith and appears in full on The Daily Chronic.
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