Federal Way police officer resigns during sexual misconduct investigation

Staff writerAugust 7, 2013 

A Federal Way police officer has resigned after an investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate photos to a woman who was a subject of his police work and had told him to stop contacting her.

The resignation July 8 of officer Ashley Crispin was noted in a statement the Police Department released Tuesday announcing the results of another investigation of the officer, this one looking into his use of force in a traffic stop.

That investigation found the force Crispin and another other officer used during a traffic stop May 27 was reasonable, according to the department.

The internal investigation that led to Crispin’s resignation after more than seven years with Federal Way police was finished Monday and provided this account:

Earlier this year, Crispin responded to an incident at the home of the woman’s mother and got the younger woman’s phone number. Afterward he sent her sexual photos and videos.

The woman told a Lynnwood police recruit about the advances, and a Lynnwood commander contacted Federal Way police, who began an internal investigation.

Crispin denied contacting the woman and in June told his supervisor the woman had called and threatened him. Police continued their investigation.

The woman denied threatening Crispin and said he had started calling her in April, trying to start a sexual relationship. She said he contacted her again in June, even though she had repeatedly told him not to.

Investigators helped recover deleted photos Crispin had sent the woman.

Crispin declined to be interviewed for the investigation and resigned the day after he was served a notice identifying his alleged misconduct and notifying him the investigation was continuing.

Police Chief Brian Wilson said Wednesday that the woman admitted sending Crispin photos, and the department’s investigation found phone records showing calls from both the woman and the officer.

The chief said Crispin clearly lied to superiors during the initial investigation about contacting the woman and might have tried to sway the woman to not cooperate with the department, an offense that likely would have ended in Crispin being fired.

“The violation of trust is on many levels, not only for his peers, for the law enforcement profession, for our community,” Wilson said. “It’s very disappointing.

“At the same time, our system has worked. I firmly believe his behavior does not represent the tremendous work, character and professionalism of this Police Department.”

The investigation into the use of force by Crispin and the other officer examined an arrest after a Federal Way woman was pulled over May 27 for talking on her cellphone while driving. According to police, the woman tried to walk away and then resisted officers who tried to detain her.

Police reports state the woman scratched one officer on the neck and tried to hit another in the face.

Crispin used “closed fist strikes” to the woman’s face at that point, according to the reports. Police said Tuesday the woman suffered “substantial bruising on the left side of her face.” She was charged with third-degree assault for the altercation.

A man who identified himself as the woman’s husband said after the arrest that she did not touch the officers and that she was beaten by police. She was not immediately reachable for comment Wednesday.

The Port of Seattle Police Department reviewed the incident and found the officers’ use of force was reasonable and one of the least intrusive options available to the officers, according to Federal Way police.

During his tenure with the department, Crispin was disciplined three times, once in 2009 for trying to have an intimate relationship with an adult police Explorer and twice for traffic collisions while working for the department, the agency said.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268

alexis.krell@thenewstribune.com

Staff writer Stacia Glenn contributed to this report.

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