A police officer has been suspended for staging a fake arrest of a 15-year-old boy after discovering the teenager was having sex with his stepdaughter.
The motorcycle officer, who was in uniform and armed, went to the boy’s home in San Jose, California where he handcuffed him and lectured him for more than five minutes.
He told the boy, who had been seeing the 14-year-old girl for some time, that he was going to face criminal charges of having sex with a minor.
The officer said: “It does not bode well for you. Do you know what that means? No? Not a good thing that the person you had sex with is a cop’s daughter. The district attorney will probably file charges.
“A cop’s daughter is not somebody you mess around with. You’re stupid.”
One of the boy’s parents videoed the incident and complained to police.
The case sparked a national debate in the US about whether the officer had abused his position, or was simply acting as a concerned father.
Tony Boskovich, a lawyer for the boy’s family, said: “Applying force, applying handcuffs, threatening the young man with things such as rape in prison, he acted like a cowboy. He lost it, he came in and he abused his authority.”
However, the officer’s lawyer Terry Bowman said the boy’s parents had not objected at the time.
Mr Bowman said: “Everything was done in the spirit of reaching a troubled young man who is heading down the wrong path.”
The officer has been placed on leave and prosecutors are considering criminal charges of false imprisonment.
The boy later told the San Jose Mercury News he had been “terrified” and the officer should be punished.
He said: “I think he should go to jail and feel how I felt. I thought he would be a good dad by just showing up and talking to my parents, rather than taking advantage of his position.”
By Nick Allen, Los Angeles
Published: 8:07PM BST 26 Sep 2010