Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ex-Tempe cop accused of selling nude photos on eBay will face state board 11/10/10

by Laurie Merrill - Nov. 10, 2010 01:18 PM

A former Tempe police officer accused of posting nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on the Internet and selling them on eBay could lose his certification to be a police officer in Arizona.
Curtis G. Baumgarth, 42, has reached a consent agreement in his case before the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST), but details were unavailable.
The board will decide on Weekday whether to accept the decree or take action that could include revoking his certification.
Baumgarth is on probation after pleading guilty to Attempted Computer Tampering in January 2009. He also was ordered to pay $1,165 to the ex-girlfriend he was accused of harassing.
In a pre-sentence report, the ex-girlfriend described how Baumgarth "was able to manipulate and control me . . . He would manipulate me to believe that practically everything I said was a lie . . . He would punish me by charging me $300 per lie, on top of a $10,000 deposit I gave him."
The woman, a registered nurse, said Baumgarth "became violent" when she tried to pull away.
"He would continuously call me all night long," she wrote. "He would send me hundreds of texts a day."
She said he came into her home, took things from her and physically attacked her.
Baumgarth, she said, sent photos of the pair in "compromising positions to my friends, he posted nude photographs of me on the Internet, and sold them on eBay."
He told her if she did not have sex with him 30 times he would send the photos to her employer, family and more friends, she said.
"He also threatened me saying that he would make sure that I lost my Nursing License and my job if I ever went to the Tempe Police Department with any of this."
Baumgarth also told her he had looked up criminal histories on all her male acquaintances, according to a police report.
Baumgarth was arrested in February 2008 on suspicion of three charges connected to threatening and/or computer tampering.
Against the wishes of the ex-girlfriend, Baumgarth, who worked 14 years for Tempe police before he was fired in May 2008, pleaded guilty in January 2009 to one count of attempted computer tampering.
On his behalf, nearly 25 colleagues, relatives and friends, including another ex-girlfriend, his current girlfriend and his ex-wife, wrote letters requesting leniency.
His ex-wife wrote in her letter that Baumgarth is an excellent father to his daughters, 15 and 13.
"They obviously have been traumatized over this whole ordeal . . . and they are very, very upset over the possibility of their dad going to jail," she wrote.
Police Commander Danny Franco praised Baumgarth's work. "As his supervisor I was always confident in his performance and work ethics . . . he gets a long with everybody."
"The Curt I met and fell in love with and have known over the years is not the man his accuser claims he is," an ex-girlfriend wrote.
--- Reporter Lisa Halverstadt contributed to this report.

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