SPD officer investigated for explicit photos

The officer was accused of texting explicit photos of a former police trainee.

Posted: Apr 23, 2021 12:56 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2021 8:45 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.--A Springfield police officer was investigated for allegedly sharing explicit photos of a former police trainee without her permission.

A complaint filed to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) alleges Officer Robert Weaver bragged to other officers about having a sexual relationship with the trainee and "created a fake phone account and texted another officer a nude photo" of her torso.

Weaver was placed on paid administrative leave on Apr. 7, 2021, according to documents obtained through a public records request.

In a memo addressed to Weaver, Lt. Matt Neiwert wrote, "This is an administrative investigation being conducted by the City... The investigation also includes a separate investigation into potential criminal conduct. That potential criminal conduct involves whether your action of showing photos of [the former trainee] is a criminal violation."

The city of Springfield declined to comment on Weaver's employment status or the results of the investigation. However, a representative of the Springfield police union said late Friday that the investigation was closed and that Weaver had returned to work.

"Detective Weaver didn't text another officer a nude photo, as alleged," Robert Conrad, president of the Springfield Police Association, said. "That simply didn't happen. In any event, again, no criminal charges were filed or pursued. Detective Weaver is back to work."

KEZI spoke with Meredith Holley, the attorney who represents the former trainee.

"It's one thing for these folks to have sexual relationships outside of the workplace which to my understanding is not in many cases prohibited by any rule in the department," Holley said. "But it's another thing for someone to commit a crime in relation to another officer."

Under state law, sharing a sexually explicit photo without consent is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail, according to criminal defense attorney Laura Fine.

"The person who's sharing the image has to have the intent to harass or annoy or humiliate their victim," Fine said. "Then, the victim has to learn that the image has been shared and in fact be harassed, annoyed, or humiliated as a result of that."

In her complaint to the DPSST, the former trainee said she felt harassed when the image was allegedly shared with other officers.

Three other officers, including a sergeant, have been placed on paid administrative leave in relation to misconduct allegations involving an unnamed female employee, according to the documents.

Police Chief Richard Lewis, is also on paid administrative leave, accused of mishandling paperwork after he fired the trainee last year.

KEZI obtained these documents as a result of a public records request that was originally denied by the city of Springfield. KEZI then appealed to the Lane County District Attorney's office, which ordered the documents be turned over.

KEZI has reached out to Weaver for a comment, but we have not heard back yet.

Stay with KEZI for updates.

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