City seeks to dismiss suit against sexting cop
BRIDGEPORT — The city appears to be using the so-called Trump defense to support a detective accused of sending unwanted sexually explicit texts to a crime victim.
“Plaintiff in the instant matter complains that three lines of text message, received over the course of one evening, refer to sex acts, two of them in colorful language no more salacious then can be heard every day, even from the mouths of high-ranking government officials,” states a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by attorney Michael Conroy, who represents the city in the case.
“I think the memorandum speaks for itself,” Conroy told Hearst Connecticut Media on Wednesday. He declined further comment.
In a civil rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against the Police Department, a Bridgeport mother of a 2-year-old child claims 50-year-old Detective David Garcia sent her a half-dozen sexually explicit texts after investigating a burglary at her home.
The woman, who works as a house cleaner in Monroe, said she had no personal relationship with Garcia and that the texts were unprovoked and unwanted.
Garcia, a 19-year veteran of the Police Department, was suspended without pay for 30 days by Police Chief Armando Perez following an investigation of the woman’s complaint by the city’s Office of Internal Affairs.
“He messed up, but there is more to the story that I can’t talk about because it is still in court. But I decided to have him back at work where he could be supervised,” Perez said after reinstating Garcia.
Robert Berke, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of the woman, declined comment on the case.
But in a written response to Conroy’s motion, he states, “The defendant references presumably are referring to the vulgar and degrading sexual comments about women made by President (Donald) Trump before the election, to television personality Billy Bush,” his motion states. “Detective Garcia characterizes his comments as similar to the high ranking official, Donald Trump, and ‘colorful.’ He attempts at minimizing these comments as marginal and appear to reference Trump as justifying his inappropriate vulgarities as acceptable conduct.”
In October 2016, during the presidential campaign, The Washington Post published a video and accompanying article about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and television host Billy Bush having "an extremely lewd conversation about women" in 2005. The president later apologized but characterized his conversation as “locker room talk.”
In March 2016, the suit states, Garcia, with no encouragement from the woman, began sending her sexually explicit text messages that included him describing in detail sexual positions he wanted her to assume with him and sexual actions he wished to perform on her.
The suit said the violent nature of sexual acts described in the texts frightened the woman.
"Detective Garcia's calculated behaviors in his capacity as a detective, with the goal to gain continued access to the plaintiff for sexual purposes, were extreme and go beyond all bounds of decency and were utterly intolerable," the lawsuit states.