Ex-CHP officer charged with two felonies in nude-photo sharing case

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A California Highway Patrol officer who resigned after he was caught sharing nude photographs taken from the cellphones of female suspects has been charged with two felonies.

Sean D. Harrington, 36, resigned from the CHP’s Dublin office Wednesday and has apologized to the department, his victims, and the public, according to a statement released by his attorney, Michael Rains.

Harrington’s actions were “simultaneously improper, impulsive, and entirely insensitive to the privacy rights” of his victims, the statement said. Rains said that his client was “embarrassed” that he tarnished the CHP’s reputation.


“It is his sincere hope that members of the public will not fasten mistrust on his former law enforcement colleagues in future encounters,” Rains said.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Harrington, he went through the phone of a 19-year-old woman who was in custody on suspicion of DUI on Aug. 6 while she was being treated at a local hospital. Harrington sent photos from her phone to his, according to Contra Costa County prosecutors.

On Aug. 29, Harrington allegedly searched another woman’s phone while she was in jail for a DUI arrest and sent revealing photos to his phone.

Harrington forwarded the photos to two colleagues, prosecutors said. Investigators examined the phones of Harrington’s coworkers and have so far decided not to charge anyone else.

In a statement Friday, Contra Costa County District Atty. Mark Peterson said that “this is the first time in the county’s history that this office has charged an officer with a crime of this nature.”

Harrington now faces two counts of unauthorized access to computer and copying of data.

Harrington’s arraignment has not been scheduled.

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