‘Detective of the Year’ Busted Sexting Decoy He Thought Was Teen Girl

THE THIN BLUE LINE

A Santa Ana police officer who three years ago was named detective of the year was charged Tuesday with sending sexually graphic messages to a decoy who pretended to be a 14-year-old girl, authorities said.

Gregory Daniel Beaumarchais, 43, has been charged with one misdemeanor of annoying or molesting a victim believed to be under 18. Beaumarchais, who surrendered to authorities Tuesday, has been on administrative leave since being identified as a suspect in the sexting investigation.

Beaumarchais, a Santa Ana police officer since 2011, was named the department’s detective of the year in 2019 and helped form its major enforcement team to suppress major crimes a year later.

LA Times

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security began investigating Beaumarchais after a civilian, who said they were posing as a 14-year-old on social media, was contacted by “someone claiming to be a 45-year-old police officer,” according to Spitzer’s statement. “Beaumarchais is accused of sending graphic messages with the civilian decoy between December 2021 and January 2022.”

“Police officers are entrusted with the sacred responsibility to safeguard society from harm,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said. “It is beyond disturbing that a sworn police officer would engage in inappropriate conversations with someone he believed to be a child.

If convicted, Beaumarchais faces up to a year in jail and will have to register as a sex offender. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. 

❋Beaumarchais sent some of the messages while on duty.

❋He’s on paid leave.

NBC News

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