Updated: Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011, 10:29 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011, 10:29 PM MDT
SANTA FE (KRQE) - He's in uniform, in public, and definitely caught in flagrante. But investigators claim the state police officer caught on camera having sex on the hood of a car did not commit a crime.
The story has gone national, and state police are not happy about it.
The pictures show a state cop wrapped up in an inappropriate position, having sex on the top of a car in public.
The photos were taken by a security camera at the out of the way Canyon Ranch, which is owned by Santa Fe county.
State police are not releasing the officer's name, but News 13 has learned it's Bert Lopez. The 8-year vet was state police officer of the year in the Santa Fe district in 2010. Even though state police won't confirm it's him, NMSP Sgt. Tim Johnson did tell News 13 that Lopez is currently, “On administrative leave.”
Johnson wouldn't say if the officer was officially on duty but did say “An employee who did something like this in uniform would be considered on duty.”
The pictures surfaced about two weeks ago, and Johnson said, “An internal investigation was initiated immediately.”
State police have completed that investigation, and johnson says “At this point we do not believe any criminal activity occurred.”
State Police are not identifying the woman in the pictures, and won't comment on her relationship to the officer. They do say the woman was not involved in any of the officer's cases.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia said he will not cite the officer for indecent exposure or public lewdness because there was no victim; no one was around to see it.
But millions of people have seen it now. And comedians are having a field day.
After talking about the racy photos, comedian Craig Ferguson told his audience, “Just goes to show you that I will do anything to get out of a ticket.”
CNN Correspondent Jeanne Moos even got in on the action, doing a segment on the photos for the national news organization. Sheriff Garcia told News 13 Moos even asked him Wednesday if the Chihuahua, seen in the pictures, was a police canine.
It may seem funny to a lot of people, but not to state police. “It's unfortunate, the department is embarrassed. During that bad decision there were probably 400 other officers out doing their jobs and making the correct decision,” said Johnson.
The officer could be fired over the photos for tarnishing the badge and embarassing the department.