Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blind eye of the badge

On Thursday he was charged with producing child pornography and the next day November 30 2007, he was set to appear before federal judge at 2:30pm. His wife, while she has been placed on administrative leave, hasn't been charged in regards to the case.

Atlanta police Sgt Tanya Crane's husband Terrill was charged after investigators recently received photographs taken from 1999 to 2002 of Terrill. They show him having sexual activity with at least 11 different girls, all of whom were minors at the time. Authorities state that he befriended the young girls, took them to his home or truck and gave them cash to engage in sexual conduct. He also offered them $50 for each new girl that they could bring to him and Crane sometimes took photos or directed them to be taken during that activity.

A photoshop employee had contacted the Atlanta Police Department in 2000 because he was concerned about the content of the photos that had been developed for Crane. The photos that were given to the police over the next two years contained about 50 sexually explicit photos. They showed girls who appeared to be between 12 and 15 years-old, engaged in sexual conduct with Crane. Those photos weren't turned over to the FBI until October 16 2007.

"This is a very disturbing case, for many reasons," stated U S Attorney David Nahmias.

Authorities state that Terrill's wife Tanya learned from an unidentified person at the Atlanta police headquarters in 2003, that they had the photos of him. She then burned some photos and negatives that she found in her house. Terrill was still trying to have sex with young girls then, telling a young girl he had exploited years earlier that he would give her $50 for each young girl she brought him.

The department spokeswoman, Judy Pal, stated that she didn't know had happened to the phots from 2000 to 2007. She added though, that the chief had been alerted to them by other staff and he immediately had contacted the FBI but made no further statements due to the internal investigation.. Police Chief Richard Pennington stated that he wouldn't tolerate the alleged actions and any purported failure to take action by his officers.

I am sure that many people would not ask the department many questions about integrity if they hadn't known of the photos existance. They did though and for several years, nothing was done to stop an officer's husband from preying on young girls. Someone was nice enough to warn his wife and rather than uphold the law as her badge symbolizes, she evidently tried to cover up his crimes as well. Cases like these are certainly making it difficult for the public to trust and respect the police, when they themselves are doing a good job of breaking it themselves.

For a related post, go here.

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