Oakland Police Arrest Officer on Prostitution, Obstruction Allegations | NBC Bay Area
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Oakland Police Arrest Officer on Prostitution, Obstruction Allegations

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    Oakland police have arrested an officer on prostitution- and obstruction of justice-related charges that do not stem from a high-profile police sex abuse scandal of a teenage girl. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    Oakland police have arrested an officer on prostitution- and obstruction of justice-related charges that do not stem from a high-profile police sex abuse scandal of a teenage girl.

    Spokeswoman Johnna Watson said on Thursday the officer was arrested Wednesday. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office on Thursday also field the charges against officer Ryan Walterhouse.

    The jail released a photo of Walterhouse, confirming he had been booked and released on $20,000 bail by Thursday morning. He could not immediately be reached for comment. He will turn 27 next month.

    According to court documents, on Oct. 1 Walterhouse engage in prostitution -- meeting a sex worker at a Castro Valley motel and paying money for sexual services.

    Court documents said Walterhouse also tipped off the sex worker about prostitution stings on two occassions, telling her "you might want to call it an early night tonight" and texting her "you out, don't be right now."

    The Oakland Police Officers' Association president and Sgt. Barry Donelan issued a statement of apology in response to the arrest.

    "Words cannot express how disappointed the members of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association are in hearing the news of a police officer recently arrested for inappropriate conduct," the statement read it part. "This officer’s actions have no place nor are they condoned in any way by the police officers who work diligently to keep our Oakland community safe."

    Watson stressed that the alleged crime was not connected to the wide-ranging case of Celeste Guap, now referred to by her first name of Jasmine, who accused dozens of East Bay law enforcement officers, many of them who worked for Oakland.

    But the allegations are eerily similar.

    East Bay Express reporter Darwin BondGraham first reported that Walterhouse was detained by members of his own department on Wednesday. Sources told the newspaper that Walterhouse allegedly slept with a sex worker, and then traded confidential law enforcement information about police vice operations to see the sex worker again.

    Those allegations echo what allegedly occurred in Jasmine's case, too.

    To civil rights attorney, Jim Chanin, Oakland police must do a better job hiring.

    "It's becoming clearer and clearer the hiring process over the past two to three years has defects in it that the hiring process did not have before," he said. "This is a blow to the vast majority of officers who are doing a really good job."

    Walterhouse played baseball for Ohlone College in Fremont in 2009 before transferring to Indiana State University, where he was a criminal justice major, the school's website says. He also played at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland. The school's website said that he has a sister and a brother, who plays baseball, and his father, who was drafted in 1976 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. According to the Piedmont Patch, he was a new recruit in 2014.

    Oakland police have been under intense scrutiny over the last year ever since Jasmine's allegations surfaced.

    Three police chiefs and four officers were fired and forced to resign in the wake of the allegations, and Mayor Libby Schaaf said she was disgusted with some of the behavior within the department, adding she was not hired to oversee a "frat house." Seven other officers were suspended without pay; in all 12 officers were disciplined

    On Thursday, the tone of the police department echoed the mayor's tone.

    “The Oakland Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct involving our employees seriously,” the statement read. “We hold all of our employees to a high level of ethical and professional accountability and will not tolerate criminal behavior. Ensuring internal investigations are swift, fair and objective is our priority.”