Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves corruption that occured at the NYPD’S Sex crime unit.
Two former supervisors who worked in the Police Department’s troubled sex-crimes division were disciplined amid an internal affairs investigation into misconduct by the unit’s leadership, according to department records posted online.
One official, Inspector Paul Saraceno, who was second in command of the Special Victims Division, was fined 30 vacation days for misusing department time and submitting false timesheets. The other, Sergeant Keri Thompson, who led the division’s DNA cold case squad and supervised a 2018 investigation of the filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, was docked 45 vacation days for misusing a department vehicle and misleading investigators during an interview.
The cases against former Inspector Saraceno and former Sergeant Thompson stemmed from an ongoing Internal Affairs Bureau investigation into misconduct at the top of the Special Victims Division that began in 2019, which also focused on accounting for dozens of rape kits that detectives picked up from hospitals in the Bronx but never turned over to the medical examiner.
Both pleaded guilty and have been removed from their posts. Sergeant Thompson was transferred out of the division to patrol after she was served with the charges in late 2020, according to police department records. Inspector Saraceno had already left to lead the Vice Enforcement Division a different unit focused on human trafficking and prostitution but he was also reassigned to patrol after entering his guilty plea and filed for retirement.
The disciplinary outcomes, which was not previously been reported, came to light following the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement last week that it had opened a civil rights investigation into whether the police department’s mishandling of sex crime cases amounted to biased policing based on gender.
Former Inspector Saraceno was appointed the executive officer of the Special Victims Division in 2017, a selection that made him second only to Chief Michael Osgood who is the division commander, just as a city audit was beginning to investigate complaints that the police were not taking rape allegations seriously. After the audit’s findings were made public in 2018, Inspector Saraceno was promoted to the inspector rank and given sole responsibility for the adult sex-crimes squads that were the focus of the probe. By the spring of 2020, before Inspector Saraceno was brought up on departmental charges, he was promoted to lead the Vice Enforcement Division, which investigates human trafficking, prostitution and online crimes against children.
Before Sergeant Thompson was charged by the department, she had supervised Detective Nicholas DiGuadio, whose mistakes in the Weinstein case had led prosecutors to dismiss charges related to one of the movie producer’s accusers.
Former Sergeant Thompson pleaded guilty to misusing a department vehicle, making inaccurate or misleading statements to department investigators, failure to supervise and failure to make proper notification to Internal Affairs. Investigators had been looking into how a car assigned to Sergeant Thompson’s unit wound up so badly damaged that it had to be taken out of service. Sergeant Thompson was initially transferred from the Special Victims Division in November 2020, according to the New York Post, after she was charged. She is currently assigned to the 10th Precinct in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Saraceno pleaded guilty to three administrative charges: misusing department time, making or causing false entries to be made in department records and failing to submit his weekly timecards on time, according to department records. In addition to the 30 vacation days, he was also fined more than 76 hours of paid leave and six hours of time toward his pension, according to a department personnel record.
Sources: NYTimes; New York Post NYPD internal affairs: Freedom Of Information Act.
Written and Published by Dream Nicole.