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San Jose Cop Arrested For Masturbating In Front Of Suspect’s Family During Disturbance Call

San Jose, CA – A San Jose police officer was arrested for indecent exposure on Thursday for allegedly masturbating at the scene of a disturbance call in April, according to police.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that 32-year-old San Jose Police Officer Matthew Dominguez was arrested on May 12, KTVU reported.

The alleged incident occurred on April 21 after the four-year department veteran and two other officers responded to a report of a disturbance at a family’s home.

The caller said a mentally-ill family member was being violent and requested police assistance, the district’ attorney’s office said in a statement.

When police arrived at the scene, Officer Dominguez instructed his two fellow officers to go find the suspect while he remained at the house with two of the female family members, according to prosecutors.

The victims said Officer Dominguez then began touching himself and ultimately exposed himself to one of the females, according to the district attorney’s statement.

The two females fled the room and told two nearby male relatives about what allegedly occurred.

Prosecutors said one of the male relatives confirmed he also saw Officer Dominguez exposing himself in the dining room area of the house.

“The charged behavior is beyond disturbing,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “Law enforcement officers respond to our homes to help crime victims, not terrorize, traumatize, and create new victims.”

Police said the investigation into the incident remains ongoing, KTVU reported.

Officer Dominguez was placed on administrative leave and has been charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure.

He faces up to one year in jail if convicted and could also be ordered to register as a sexual offender for up to 10 years, according to the district attorney’s office.

Officer Dominguez’s arraignment is scheduled for June 22.

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata released video footage showing him personally escorting Officer Dominguez out of the police department on Thursday.

“Last week I said that when an officer violated the public’s trust or engages in criminal conduct I would personally walk that Officer out the door,” Chief Mata told the New York Post. “Today I did it.”

The chief said he is pushing to alter the San Jose Police Department’s (SJPD) disciplinary process in a way that will allow him to “speak openly with the public” about potential police misconduct, according to the New York Post.

“Let me start by sharing my commitment to transparency,” Chief Mata told the news outlet in a prior statement. “The days of saying this is a ‘personnel matter’ are over in the San Jose Police Department. My administration and I will share what we can when it comes to investigations. Although the amount of information we can provide may be limited, we will provide it.”

The SJPD has been steeped in controversy for the past several weeks due to multiple incidents of alleged officer misconduct.

Just days before Officer Dominguez’s arrest, another officer was placed on leave for allegedly responding to a kidnapping call while intoxicated, KNTV reported.

Sources with knowledge about the incident said the officer’s blood-alcohol content at the time was 0.139, which is nearly twice the legal limit.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office announced last week that 24-year-old SJPD Rookie Officer De’Jon Packer’s unexpected death was caused by a fentanyl overdose, KNTV reported.

Sources with knowledge about the young officer’s death claimed he was at a party with other law enforcement officers the night before he was found dead inside his Milpitas home, according to the news outlet.

SJPD Police Officers Association (POA) President Sean Pritchard said these incidents have caused him to wonder about the agency’s current recruitment standards for new officers, KNTV reported.

“If these allegations are proven to be true, then this person has no place in law enforcement,” Pritchard told KNTV. “Having these different incidents has really led us to a place where we want to take a much harder look at our hiring process, our backgrounding process and really see if there’s something that’s being missed.”

“We want to ensure that the public does trust us and really understands again that this is not who we are,” the union president added.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo agreed that changes to hiring practices need to be made.

“In the days ahead, I look forward to the specific, actionable steps the department will take to improve screening and backgrounding new applicants to the police academy,” Liccardo said during a press conference. “We have a serious problem in SJPD that requires remedial action immediately.”

The mayor noted that these alleged incidents do not reflect the nature of the SJPD’s officers as a whole.

“These officers do not represent the very high moral and professional standards upheld by 99 percent of our hardworking San Jose police officers,” Liccardo said.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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