Oakland Moves to Fire 4 Cops, Discipline 7 in Sexual Exploitation Case

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The headquarter of the Oakland Police Department. (Alex Emslie/KQED)

Oakland will move to fire four police officers and discipline another seven for their involvement in the alleged sexual exploitation of a teenager, officials announced Wednesday.

A 12th officer is to undergo counseling and training.

The scandal involves several Bay Area law enforcement agencies and dozens of law enforcement officers alleged to have had sex with the woman, now 19, who worked in the sex trade and appears to have been trafficked when she was a minor.

"The discipline that we have announced today sends a loud and clear message that we will hold our officers to nothing other than the highest standards of professionalism and integrity," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. "The people of Oakland and the decent men and women of the Oakland Police Department deserve no less."

City Administrator Sabrina Landreth said each of four officers that Oakland will move to fire were found to have committed one or more of the following offenses: attempted sexual assault, engaging in lewd conduct in public, assisting in the crime of prostitution, assisting in evading arrest for the crime of prostitution, accessing law enforcement databases for personal gain, being untruthful to investigators, failing to report a violation of law or rules by not reporting allegations of a minor having or had sexual contact with Oakland police officers, and bringing disrepute to Oakland.

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Landreth also said Oakland will suspend seven officers without pay and provide them with remedial training.

The names of the officers are not being released pending the completion of the discipline process. The announcement came during a press conference following the conclusion of an administrative investigation conducted by the city.

Deputy Chief John Lois said the investigative team looked through 80,000 pages of social media documents and 28,000 text messages, and conducted 11 interviews spanning more than 20 hours with the woman at the heart of the investigation, who goes by the name "Celeste Guap."

The Guap case has led to a period of unprecedented turmoil in a department that has had more than its share of scandals and embarrassments in the last couple of decades.

Police Chief Sean Whent's handling of the Guap case is believed to have led directly to his abrupt resignation in June, a move that was followed by the appointment and departure of two interim chiefs within an eight-day span. The Police Department is currently under the control of City Administrator Landreth until Oakland finds a permanent chief.

Meanwhile, the office of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley is reportedly still weighing charges against officers involved in the Guap case.

Dan Brekke and Alex Emslie contributed to this report.