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TPD officer arrested for sex with woman under investigation

A three-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department was himself arrested Sunday, charged with illegal sexual contact with a woman who was the subject of an investigation he was conducting, authorities said.

Officer Richard Daniel was booked into the Pima County Jail, a TPD spokesman said.

TPD's Office of Professional Standards Unit learned of a potential misconduct case on Thursday, Sgt. Pete Dugan said.

"The incident occurred on Jan. 13, 2019, and included an allegation of unlawful sexual conduct with an adult female who was the subject of an investigation he was conducting," Dugan said.

An investigation established probable cause to arrest Daniel, who was taken into custody on Sunday, Dugan said. TPD's internal affairs unit "conducted a separate, but parallel administrative investigation" while detectives probed the case, he said.

Daniel was arrested for one count of Unlawful Sexual Conduct; Peace Officers (ARS 13-1412(A), a class 5 felony) along with one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence (13-2809(A1), a class 6 felony), Dugan said in a news release Sunday night.

Dugan did not provide details about the allegations against the arrested officer.

ARS 13-1412 states that a "peace officer commits unlawful sexual conduct by knowingly engaging in sexual contact, oral sexual contact or sexual intercourse with any person who is in the officer's custody or a person who the officer knows or has reason to know is the subject of an investigation."

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"Detectives are continuing their investigation and additional charges are pending," Dugan said.

Daniel has been placed on administrative leave without pay, and been informed that TPD intends to fire him, Dugan said.

"Investigations involving the conduct of our officers are taken seriously. The actions and behaviors exhibited by Richard Daniel are not reflective of the honorable men and women who are devoted every day to the mission of serving and protecting the members of the Tucson community," Dugan said in his emailed statement about the case.

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