Officer Robert Davies of the San Mateo Police Department in California was arrested on June 6 for suspicion of contacting a minor to commit a felony, according to the San Jose Police Department. Davies was arrested after police say he talked about engaging in sexual activity with a person posing as a 16-year-old girl on Snapchat.
A weeks-long investigation into communications Davies had on the phone app Snapchat where he talked about engaging in sexual activity the teen girl led to his arrest, NBC News reports.
Davies knowingly “chatted about engaging in sexual activity” with a person presenting themselves as an underage teenage girl on Snapchat.
On May 11 Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers received a tip from a “concerned citizen” who posed as a 16-year-old girl on a number of mobile applications and connected with Davies. Police say the tipster researched Davies’ name and learned he is a police officer.
The tipster registered as a 19-year-old user in a fake Tinder account and used filters on the profile photo so that they appeared to be underage, police said. The pair moved their conversation onto Kik, a free messaging mobile application, where police said Davies acknowledged the user was 16 years old.
Davies eventually invited the fake teenager to continue their conversation on Snapchat, where shared content disappears after it’s viewed by the recipient in mobile exchanges. It is on Snapchat where police say Davies talked about engaging in sexual activity with the girl.
Investigators served search warrants on an unknown number of electronic devices, mobile applications and Davies’ home as part of their investigation.
San Mateo police officials said Thursday that if the accusations against Davies are proven to be true, the “disturbing” conduct violates the department’s values and principles.
In a statement San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said this:
“This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole. As San Mateo police officers, we have sworn an oath to serve and protect our communities. I can assure you that we remain steadfast to this commitment to serving our community with ‘Professionalism, Integrity, and Excellence."
San Mateo police said the alleged conduct occurred while Davies was off-duty and in Santa Clara County, where he lives in Morgan Hill.
Davies is on paid administrative leave amid the investigation.