A veteran police officer who was named California’s “Detective of the Year” in 2019 has been caught in an underage sex sting and charged with exchanging sexually explicit messages with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
Orange County District Attorney officials announced that Gregory Daniel Beaumarchais, 43, is facing a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a victim believed to be under the age of 18.
“Police officers are entrusted with the sacred responsibility to safeguard society from harm,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
“It is beyond disturbing that a sworn police officer would engage in inappropriate conversations with someone he believed to be a child. Our children should not have to worry about being preyed upon by the very people we teach them who are there to protect them.”
Prosecutors allege Beaumarchais exchanged sexually explicit messages with a civilian decoy on a social media platform between December 2021 and January 2022.
NYPost report: When access to his social media was cut off by the provider, Beaumarchais allegedly instantly created another account under a similar user name, Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Kimberly Edds told The Post.
Edds added Beaumarchais would often text the civilian decoy sexually graphic messages while he was on duty.
The decoy contacted the non-profit organization Orange County Crime Stoppers and informed them about messages she received from someone who claimed to be a police officer.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security assisted in the investigation.
Beaumarchais turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear back in court for his arraignment on October 13.