Thursday, December 3, 2009

Four year Portland police veteran sentenced to 6 months in jail for harassing calls to women, girls

A former Portland, OR police officer was sentenced to 6 months in jail Monday, November 30, 2009 for obscene telephone calls directed against other police officers and relatives, including a 14 year old girl.  Twenty-eight year old Joseph Wild was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 5 years of probation by on 15 counts of official misconduct, 5 counts of telephonic harassment and a count for menacing.

Multnomah County Judge Kenneth R. Walker also placed Wild under a permanent restraining order all victims, including his sister in law and his youngest victim, a 14 year old girl. Judge Walker ordered him to undergo counseling, 180 hours of community service, and an exit interview with the Portland police force's psychologist. Wild lost his police certification and is barred from using pornography.

Wild was accused of repeatedly making sexually-explicit phone calls to 10 females, including to two female police recruits and a 14-year-old relative, between November 2008 and April 2009. During some calls, he threatened to rape the women or told them he wanted to see them naked, according to court documents.

The Wild case began Feb. 2 when three women police cadets at the state police academy reported receiving harassing phone calls. Even after Portland detectives began a criminal inquiry, Wild used his bureau-issued cell phone to make more than 50 calls to his teenage relative between Feb. 24 and April 23, calls the 14-year-old told investigators made her extremely frightened and made her cry, court records show.
Wild, who worked North Precinct, was arrested on June 12. As Wild faced indictment that month, Police Chief Rosie Sizer said the organization was "both embarrassed and feels betrayed by the allegations," and pushed for the ability to give polygraph tests to police applicants, which would need legislative approval.
Other victims included a woman who Wild met while investigating a domestic violence call, and a 16 year old girl who Wild had driven to a center for missing teens.
Some on his victims testified at the sentencing, including his aunt, Amy Prazeau. Prazeau said that she is unable to forgive Wild and wishes that he had died in the line of duty instead. She told the court about how the obscene calls led her to lock herself and her 5 year old son in her bedroom with a baseball bat. The betrayal was compounded by Wild's offer to "monitor" the caller even though it was him.
John Snell, father of another victim (and Wild's father-in-law), said that disgusted with Wild, "I find it very disturbing that you would be able to be face to face with our family a few hours after making the calls and act like the perfect husband, brother-in-law and son-in-law that you wanted everyone to believe you were."
The 14 year old girl's statement, read by her attorney Erin Olsen, stated that "You called me and said things I never thought I'd hear – especially from you, a cop, a husband, a brother, a son and a friend. You can't imagine how it feels to know somebody you loved and trusted took advantage of you in such horrific ways."

No comments: