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DE- State trooper charged with sexual extortion commits suicide in Smyrna

5-27-2009 Delaware:

Delaware State Police Cpl. Joshua A. Giddings, 32, apparently committed suicide at his Smyrna home Tuesday, May 26. Giddings was arrested May 11 after an investigation revealed he engaged in sexual relations with a woman he had arrested in exchange for not taking her to court.

Delaware State Police reported that emergency personnel were dispatched at about 6 p.m., to a home in the unit block of Wheeler Circle in Smyrna after receiving a report of an unresponsive man.

The man was found in the shed at the residence. He was unresponsive. Emergency personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.

He was identified as Joshua A. Giddings.

Foul play is not suspected, police said. The incident is a suspected suicide, but the investigation is continuing by the Smyrna Police Department.


Delaware State Police Cpl. Joshua A. Giddings, 32, who was assigned to Troop 9 in Odessa, was arrested by the DSP May 11 after an investigation revealed he engaged in inappropriate sexual relations with a 39-year-old New Castle woman while he was acting in his official capacity as a trooper March 19.

Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Thomas F. Mac Leish held a press conference regarding the incident Monday, May 11.

“The charges against Mr. Giddings represent a very serious breach of the trust that is so vital to the relationship between the citizens and the police in a free society,” he said. “I am repulsed by the actions of which Mr. Giddings is accused.

“Those actions are in no way representative of the men and women of the Delaware State Police, both uniformed and civilian, who go to work every day with the singular goal of providing high quality law enforcement services to the residents and visitors of our state,” MacLeish said. “As public servants empowered with a great deal of authority, I firmly believe, as do my fellow troopers, that these actions cannot and will not be tolerated.”

The arrest of Giddings, a seven-year veteran patrol trooper of the DSP, culminates an investigation by DSP of alleged misconduct brought to the DSP’s attention by the woman.

The woman alleged that she and Giddings engaged in a sexual act while he was in the process of arresting her.

Information was provided and the investigation later substantiated that on March 19 at approximately 8:06 pm, Giddings was working in a patrol capacity when he was dispatched to JC Penney’s at the Christiana Mall for a report of a female shoplifter in custody.

The investigation determined that Giddings arrested the woman for a single count of shoplifting and for capias charges from a local court related to traffic offenses. The woman and Giddings agreed that if the woman performed a sexual favor that Giddings would not take her to court to face the shoplifting charges and capiases. Instead, he issued her a criminal summons to appear at a later date in court.

With the woman under arrest and detained in the police car, Giddings drove to a nearby secluded area and engaged in a sexual act with her. Giddings took her home in the police car.

Once DSP was notified of this allegation, an investigation was immediately launched and Giddings was suspended with pay and benefits. During the investigation, detectives secured a clothing item belonging to the victim, which was found to contain traces of seminal fluid. Consequently, detectives later obtained a search warrant to obtain DNA from Giddings.

The physical evidence obtained by detectives from the victim’s clothing and the DNA sample obtained from Giddings were sent to the Delaware Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for comparison. The two samples matched the DNA profile of Giddings and supported the allegation brought forth.

Arrest warrants were obtained and Giddings was informed of the arrest warrant. He voluntarily turned himself in May 11 to investigators at Troop 2 in Newark.

He was charged with sexual extortion – felony, receiving a bribe – felony, and official misconduct – misdemeanor, and upon arraignment, was issued an $8,000 unsecured bond.

Because of the arrest, Mac Leish has placed Giddings on suspension without pay and benefits with the intent to dismiss him from the division.

Mac Leish stressed that Giddings is an aberration and will be held accountable for his actions, both criminally and internally within the DSP.

“I share the same frustration as my fellow troopers and colleagues as we collectively try to comprehend why someone would choose to violate the public’s trust and tarnish the uniform so proudly worn by Delaware State Troopers for more than 86 years,” he said. “I will ensure a thorough review is completed surrounding the facts and circumstances of this incident to determine whether any measures can be taken to ensure this type of transgression does not happen again.”

Mac Leish said the investigation is ongoing. ..Source.. by Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

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